An IT Security Architect will likely be involved in the design, build, implementation and management of an organisations IT Security infrastructure as part of their job role.
Their job will also potentially necessitate their involvement in the implementation of an IT Security strategy, liaison with staff, software and hardware vendors plus any other partners that are supplying any computer security related services.
Typical job duties for the role of Security Architect include gaining a deep understanding of the organisations IT systems, together with planning the design for a more robust security architecture. Duties will also likely include risk analysis feeding into overall security assessments incorporating the outputs from any necessary vulnerability testing.
The Security Architect will need to plan and develop the requirements for all network-connected devices such as routers and firewalls and of course any connected computers. Networks covered will include Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Local Area Networks (LAN) and Wide Area Networks (WAN). Project and man management skills may also be required for this senior-level important role depending on requirements. Implementation and on-going maintenance of IT Security may also be a requirement of the job role.
More specific Security Architect responsibilities may include:
1) IT Security Planning – Developing a full knowledge and understanding of the organisations IT, technology and Information Systems.
Liaison with existing skilled staff, together with the practical utilisation of up to date understanding of security standards, authentication protocols and state of the art security systems. The knowledge gained will then correctly inform future decision-making and selection of the optimum security solutions. Presentation to senior IT management. This may require the creation of a formal project plan that can be checked and signed off at each stage of the project lifecycle.
2) IT Security Design – Once the overall IT security Plan has been agreed, detailed design can begin.
Detailed design of the IT Security solution will be informed primarily by knowledge gained during the planning stage and vulnerability testing, which will expose existing security weaknesses. With these inputs, and research into current IT Security best practice including the latest hardware and software solutions available, detailed design of the solution will be possible. This design will likely include a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) using Certification Authorities (CA), including the use of Digital Signatures where appropriate. A network design for the WAN (Wide Area Network), LAN (Local Area Network) and VPN (Virtual Private Network) will likely feed into the overall project plan at this stage. All known exploits and weaknesses should be negated within the design and advanced data encryption technology incorporated where possible.
Costing’s may need to be calculated and budgets then managed efficiently prior to procurement of hardware, software, manpower and other required services.
3) IT Security Implementation – Installing the solution including firewalls, routers, VPN (Virtual Private Network), Servers and Networks.
Once the planning and design phase have been successfully completed, procurement, integration with existing systems and implementation will need to be managed. As Security Architect, you will be responsible for ensuring and testing that the implementation is successful and has met the organisations objectives in a cost-effective and timely manner.
The implementation phase will need to be fully tested once complete to assure adherence to the requirements and of course that the IT security solutions behave as expected.
4) On-going IT Security Management and Maintenance – Skilled staff and procedures will need to be adopted to ensure robust IT Security
Once implementation has been achieved, on-going maintenance and management may be required, depending on the size of the organisation and its requirements. As Security Architect you will likely need to provide technical documentation and initial support to the organisations IT Security team. This may include developing a corporate security policy, overseeing a security awareness program and possibly education of staff regarding the new procedures. If your role is as a full time member of staff, and you are not simply a short time Consultant IT Security Architect, then your role may include responding to new IT security threats and providing analysis and solutions to any identified problems.
This is usually a daytime role, working an average 40 hour week. Short-term IT Security Architect Contractors and Consultants may be paid a day rate where additional work is chargeable.
What can you expect to earn as a Security Architect? The position of Security Architect (IT) is a senior level role with many responsibilities. Salaries will 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 Architect range from $85,070 – $152,901 or £65,438 – £117,616 at a conversion rate of 1.3 for USD/GBP.
Sources: * Payscale – http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Security_Architect%2c_IT/Salary