Getting a job in a Network Security role requires in-depth knowledge of TCP/IP networking. You will most likely have an in-depth wealth of knowledge gained in IT Security roles or as a Network Administrator gained at corporate level. Network Security Consultants will often be tasked with the initial planning, design and then build of the most secure networks (both wired and wireless) at all levels of the OSI model.
Network Security Jobs are often available in defensive security roles (DefSec), where the security consultant will be tasked with building a more resilient network. The networks that are built must be able to withstand potential security attacks at all OSI levels.
There are many individual job roles within the field of Network Security. These roles range widely from Network Security Engineer and Systems Engineer to Senior Network and Security Engineer roles and Network Security Consultants.
Potential employees will need a wealth of Network related knowledge, gained in IT Network Security, for the more senior roles. Experience in the design, build, implementation, management and training of staff regarding Network Security may also be necessary.
An understanding of an organisations overall IT Security strategy plus liaison with related support staff, management and other stakeholders may be needed. The role may also encompass liaison with software and hardware vendors, or other partners, supplying any Network or Network Security related IT services.
Typical job duties for many roles within Network Security will include gaining a deep understanding of the organisations IT Networks and related systems. The planning of more robust Network Security architectures will then likely come next. Technical information may need to be fed into the organisations overall security policy and procedures relating to its IT Networks.
Seamless integration of the enterprises networks and connected devices such as routers and firewalls plus connected computers and related services will often be a given.
The IT Networks that will usually fall within the scope of such job roles will include Local Area Networks (LAN), Wide Area Networks (WAN) plus Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s).
An experienced Network consultant or engineer would often be required to have good project and man management skills too. The ability to be able to perform a deep analysis of any existing Network security infrastructure and planned implementation of new Network solutions will often be amongst the primary job tasks of anyone performing such a job role.
More specific Network Security Consultant Engineer job responsibilities may include:
1) IT Network Security Planning – This will necessitate a deep knowledge and detailed understanding of the organisations IT Networks and associated technology together with connected Information Systems prior to planning of future Network upgrades and installations.
The Network specialist will need to be able to effectively communicate with existing skilled IT staff to learn about the existing Network infrastructure. An up to date understanding of Network security standards, Network authentication protocols and related Communications security systems will help with their Network related project planning. With such a detailed knowledge of the organisations IT Network Infrastructure, they will be fully able to select the optimum IT Networks security solutions. Often, formal project plans will need to be developed as part of the role. These can then can then be checked and signed off at each checkpoint stage within the overall project lifecycle by change control and related specialists within the IT department of the enterprise.
2) IT Network Security Design – When an overall Network project plan has been agreed, its detailed design can commence.
Detailed design of a new IT Network Security infrastructure solution will normally be informed by the scoping knowledge that was gained during earlier planning stages. Previous experience of penetration and vulnerability tests will likely be utilised to inform future Network development based on lessons that have been learned. In this way, any existing security weakness will be mitigated against. As part of the project planning, and research into current IT Network Security best practice, the detailed design phase of the new network solution can start. An IT network design for the WAN (Wide Area Network), LAN (Local Area Network) plus any associated VPN (Virtual Private Network) can then be input into the overall project plan that is created. The network design will often include Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology using Certification Authorities (CA) with the use of Digital Signatures where needed. Any known network security exploits or weaknesses can then b reduced within the new network security infrastructure design.
The remit of the role may involve some budget management prior to the procurement of all the relevant hardware and software or other required services or staffing.
3) IT Network Security Implementation – Installing the new network security infrastructure, this will incorporate physical cabling, switches, bridges, firewalls, routers, VPN (Virtual Private Network), related Servers and Software.
When the network planning and design phase has been completed, procurement, implementation and integration of the new network infrastructure with existing systems will need to be managed. As Network Security specialist, you may be responsible for ensuring that the It networks implementation is successful. This will involve testing to ensure that it performs as planned.
4) On-going IT Network Security Management plus Maintenance – Training of Skilled Network specialist staff and development of new procedures for more robust IT Network Security.
Once the new implementation has been fully tested and is signed off, on-going network maintenance and management will need to be planned for. As an IT Network Security Consultant Engineer, you will be expected to provide necessary technical documentation and – at least – initial technical support for the organisation. Help with the development of a corporate network security policy; a network security awareness program and education of staff regarding the new networks and related procedures may also feature within the scope of your job role.
This is normally a daytime role for Network Engineers, working an average of a 40-hour week. However, the role may necessitate you being on call out of hours too. Short-term IT Network Security Consultants may be paid at an agreed day rate where additional work is then chargeable.
• Detailed knowledge of IT Network Security hardware, software and vendor solutions
• Experience of the implementation of IT Network Security solutions
• ISO 27001/27002 standards, ITIL and COBIT frameworks
• MS Windows and UNIX/Linux skills
• You need to be highly organised, efficient and able to work alone unsupervised under your own initiative
• A good communicator, the ability to create detailed reports
• Project Management skills may be required for more senior roles
• The ability to delegate effectively to other staff members where necessary
• For Consultants or managers, a Bachelors degree in a related field such as Computer Science, IT or a Cyber-Security related field may be required
• For Network Security Engineers, an A level standard of education is is often required depending on the organisation.
What can you expect to earn as a Network Security Engineer? The position of Network Security Engineer is a technical role with many responsibilities. The available salaries will vary depending on your experience, your qualifications, the organisation and even industrial sector.
According to Payscale* Salary expectations for the role of Network security Engineer range from £19,500 to £71,216
* Payscale – https://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=Network_Security_Engineer/Salary