A Security Administrator is the person responsible for the administration of their organisations cyber security systems. They will have the responsibility for installing, administering and day-to-day troubleshooting of the organisations IT security infrastructure. They will look after the live or production environment primarily but will also have a role in both system and user acceptance testing of new hardware and software solutions, working with other members of the IT Security team to ensure seamless upgrades and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
Typical job duties for the role of Security Administrator include an immediate response to any new security threats or exploits, as they occur. The job will include some vulnerability testing, network management, intrusion detection and prevention plus the maintenance of IT Security in the live environment.
A good understanding of the organisations IT systems will be necessary in order for the duties of the job to be carried out efficiently.
They will monitor traffic for any unusual activity or unauthorised access attempts. They will also configure systems and ensure that network and IT security policies are adhered to. Part of their role may also encompass control of change management, ensuring orderly transitions during upgrades, fixes and patches.
They may be involved in the design, build and implementation of an organisations IT Security infrastructure within their job role and the testing of the organisations IT Security strategy. The role of Security Administrator is often focused on keeping the live IT Infrastructure of the organisation safe and secure at all times.
Management of IT networks such as Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Local Area Networks (LAN) and Wide Area Networks (WAN) will normally be necessary.
More specific Security Analyst responsibilities may include:
1) First-line response and initial management of IT security related issues
As Security Administrator you will work with existing skilled staff, responding to cyber security threats as they take place. Network management of LAN, WAN and connected servers will be part and parcel of the role. An up to date understanding of relevant security standards, authentication protocols, and all security related hardware and software within the organisation would be vital.
2) IT Security – Day to day management
Your role will involve many day-to-day IT Security management activities. These will include managing the LAN (Local Area Network), Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) administration tasks, plus managing the WAN (Wide Area Network), and any VPN’s (Virtual Private Networks). Using the IT Security tools and techniques that you have gained, you will monitor all exploits and threats, providing an initial response as threats emerge. Regular vulnerability testing may be necessary and reporting to senior IT management may be required, especially during issues causing downtime or data loss.
3) IT Security maintenance, change management, training and support
You will likely be responsible for change management, incorporating the administration of upgrades, patches and fixes. Tasks such as the development and implementation of new corporate security policies and staff training on awareness of cyber security threats may need your attention.
4) Implement live IT security fixes, tools, countermeasures and testing
Administrators are often involved in implementing required upgrade paths, bug fixes and workarounds for emerging IT Security issues. Testing of newly installed IT security tools, threat countermeasures and other responses will be part of the job.
5) Implement Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Security Administrators need to ensure that the organisation will be able to recover in a timely manner from a disaster or attack and need to be involved in the management of disaster recovery with tries and and trusted processes should the worst happen.
The job of Security Administrator is usually a daytime role; you will likely be working an average 40 hours per week. Short-term IT Security Administrators, Contractors and Consultants may be paid a day rate. Additional work above agreed hours/days would normally be chargeable.
What can you expect to earn as a Security Administrator? The position of Security Administrator (IT) is an important role with many responsibilities. Salaries will of course vary depending on your experience, qualifications, the organisation and sector plus whether you are employed on a full-time, short-term Contractor or Consultant basis.
According to Payscale* Salary expectations for the role of Security Administrator range from $41,521 – $96,896 or £31,939 – £74,535 at a conversion rate of 1.3 for USD/GBP.
Sources: * Payscale – http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Security_Administrator%2c_IT/Salary