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What Does a Security Engineer Do?

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By: Guest Writer

July 5, 2018

What do Security Engineers do?Working in the information security realm comes with a lot of advantages. With nearly everything having a digital component these days, the career opportunities in this industry are plentiful. As we continue to rely on the internet, networks, and systems to help manage everything from our online shopping to confidential information, it makes sense that jobs within information security will continue to thrive.But what happens when you love the idea of working with technology, but you also want a job that does not follow the same routine every day? You may want to consider pursuing a career as a security engineer.Overview of a Security Engineer Job RoleA security engineer is tasked with the monumental role of protecting the networks and computer systems of a company from any security threats or attacks. Mostly, a security engineer is responsible for establishing and implementing security solutions that can defend a company and its networking assets. This can be accomplished through a variety of ways. Just a few of the essential duties of a professional security engineer include:
  • Establishing security standards and best practices that an organization should follow
  • Evaluating an organization’s systems, networks, and data to determine what types of security protocols are necessary
  • Developing proper security measures to meet an organization’s needs
  • Implementing security controls to protect an organization’s infrastructure and digital files
  • Monitoring and upgrading security measures as necessary
  • Responding to any security breaches or intrusions that may occur
  • Conducting scans and testing to identify any vulnerabilities
  • Assisting with investigations to determine how security breaches happened
  • Reporting findings and providing security recommendations to management
Learn more about cyber security jobs >>Real Life as a Security EngineerWhile security engineers may spend the majority of their time in front of a computer screen, this career is anything but boring or monotonous. Yes, there are things that must be done each day. But security threats are unpredictable. This results in a work environment that is complex, fast-paced, and intense. Additionally, working odd or long hours can also be necessary during critical moments.One day could be spent installing firewalls and intrusion detection systems to keep a company’s information secure. The next may be filled with developing automation scripts that can make it easier to handle and track security incidents. The following could be spent compiling and presenting technical reports to management about the status of the organization’s security system. Each day is unique, which is just one detail that makes this career path so exciting and enjoyable for many.Requirements for Working as a Security EngineerA security engineer is an organization’s first line of defense against potential security threats. Since this role carries such importance and responsibility, there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled to successfully handle this position. Most companies will only consider candidates who have earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field of study. Additionally, employers like to see that the individual has several years of real-life experience in identifying security threats and implementing successful measures for protection.Not only is it important to have a college degree and experience before working as a security engineer, but there are also some specific skills that candidates should be proficient in. For example, most employers will give credence to individuals who can demonstrate a solid understanding and implementation of:
  • Cyber security trends
  • Security methodologies
  • OSI model
  • TCP/IP stack 
  • C++, Java, Python Net, bash, and power shell
Security engineers must also be able to collaborate and communicate well with other departments. While it can be easy to become consumed with all the details involved with keeping a company’s computer systems and networks secure, other individuals within the organization need to know what is going on as well. Employees need to be educated on best practices to keep information secure. Management must be notified about any potential security threats. Departments have to work together to ensure that security measures are enforced as effectively and efficiently as possible.Career Potential as a Security EngineerSecurity engineers are in high demand, with over 35,000 job openings in the field and an average salary of $107,000. Not just anyone can work in this industry, but qualified candidates have the potential to make the most of the opportunities that exist.Working as a security engineer is a career path that is both exciting and challenging. With the proper training and work ethic, this journey can be highly rewarding.
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