Security Architect Job Profile

What is a Security Architect?

The Security Architect ensures that the stakeholder security requirements necessary to protect the organization’s mission and business processes are adequately addressed in all aspects of enterprise architecture including reference models, segment and solution architectures, and the resulting systems supporting those missions and business processes.

Security Architect must know:

  • computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies.
  • risk management processes (e.g., methods for assessing and mitigating risk).
  • laws, regulations, policies, and ethics as they relate to cybersecurity and privacy.
  • cybersecurity and privacy principles.
  • capabilities and applications of network equipment including routers, switches, bridges, servers, transmission media, and related hardware.
  • capabilities and requirements analysis.
  • cryptography and cryptographic key management concepts
  • database systems.
  • business continuity and disaster recovery continuity of operations plans.
  • organization’s enterprise information security architecture.
  • electrical engineering as applied to computer architecture (e.g., circuit boards, processors, chips, and computer hardware).
  • installation, integration, and optimization of system components.
  • human-computer interaction principles.
  • Security Assessment and Authorization process.
  • industry-standard and organizationally accepted analysis principles and methods.
  • cybersecurity and privacy principles and organizational requirements (relevant to confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, non-repudiation).
  • mathematics (e.g. logarithms, trigonometry, linear algebra, calculus, statistics, and operational analysis).
  • microprocessors.
  • network access, identity, and access management (e.g., public key infrastructure, Oauth, OpenID, SAML, SPML).
  • network hardware devices and functions.
  • new and emerging information technology (IT) and cybersecurity technologies.
  • operating systems.
  • how traffic flows across the network (e.g., Transmission Control Protocol [TCP] and Internet Protocol [IP], Open System Interconnection Model [OSI], Information Technology Infrastructure Library, current version [ITIL]).
  • parallel and distributed computing concepts.
  • remote access technology concepts.
  • key concepts in security management (e.g., Release Management, Patch Management).
  • software engineering.
  • systems testing and evaluation methods.
  • technology integration processes.
  • telecommunications concepts (e.g., Communications channel, Systems Link Budgeting, Spectral efficiency, Multiplexing).
  • the systems engineering process.
  • critical infrastructure systems with information communication technology that were designed without system security considerations.
  • network systems management principles, models, methods (e.g., end-to-end systems performance monitoring), and tools.
  • organizational process improvement concepts and process maturity models (e.g., Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) for Development, CMMI for Services, and CMMI for Acquisitions).
  • service management concepts for networks and related standards (e.g., Information Technology Infrastructure Library, current version [ITIL]).
  • the application firewall concepts and functions (e.g., Single point of authentication/audit/policy enforcement, message scanning for malicious content, data anonymization for PCI and PII compliance, data loss protection scanning, accelerated cryptographic operations, SSL security, REST/JSON processing).
  • confidentiality, integrity, and availability requirements.
  • cybersecurity-enabled software products.
  • the Risk Management Framework Assessment Methodology.
  • various types of computer architectures.
  • multi-level security systems and cross domain solutions.
  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data security standards.
  • Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards.
  • Personal Health Information (PHI) data security standards.
  • program protection planning (e.g. information technology (IT) supply chain security/risk management policies, anti-tampering techniques, and requirements).
  • configuration management techniques.
  • current and emerging data encryption (e.g., Column and Tablespace Encryption, file and disk encryption) security features in databases (e.g. built-in cryptographic key management features).
  • N-tiered typologies (e.g. including server and client operating systems).
  • an organization’s information classification program and procedures for information compromise.
  • the enterprise information technology (IT) architectural concepts and patterns (e.g., baseline, validated design, and target architectures.)
  • integrating the organization’s goals and objectives into the architecture.
  • organization’s evaluation and validation criteria.
  • embedded systems.
  • system fault tolerance methodologies.
  • Information Theory (e.g., source coding, channel coding, algorithm complexity theory, and data compression).
  • demilitarized zones.
  • network protocols such as TCP/IP, Dynamic Host Configuration, Domain Name System (DNS), and directory services.
  • network design processes, to include understanding of security objectives, operational objectives, and trade-offs.
  • access authentication methods.
  • basic structure, architecture, and design of modern digital and telephony networks. (See Network Management)
  • the common networking and routing protocols (e.g. TCP/IP), services (e.g., web, mail, DNS), and how they interact to provide network communications.

Key skills of the Security Architect include:

  • applying and incorporating information technologies into proposed solutions.
  • designing countermeasures to identified security risks.
  • designing the integration of hardware and software solutions.
  • determining how a security system should work (including its resilience and dependability capabilities) and how changes in conditions, operations, or the environment will affect these outcomes.
  • design modeling and building use cases (e.g., unified modeling language).
  • using Virtual Private Network (VPN) devices and encryption.
  • writing test plans.
  • configuring and utilizing software-based computer protection tools (e.g., software firewalls, antivirus software, anti-spyware).
  • designing multi-level security/cross domain solutions.
  • the use of design methods.

Security Architect must be able to:

  • Ability to apply cybersecurity and privacy principles to organizational requirements (relevant to confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, non-repudiation).
  • Ability to serve as the primary liaison between the enterprise architect and the systems security engineer and coordinates with system owners, common control providers, and system security officers on the allocation of security controls as system-specific, hybrid, or common controls.
  • Ability, in close coordination with system security officers, advise authorizing officials, chief information officers, senior information security officers, and the senior accountable official for risk management/risk executive (function), on a range of security-related issues (e.g. establishing system boundaries; assessing the severity of weaknesses and deficiencies in the system; plans of action and milestones; risk mitigation approaches; security alerts; and potential adverse effects of identified vulnerabilities).
  • Ability to identify critical infrastructure systems with information communication technology that were designed without system security considerations.
  • Ability to set up a physical or logical sub-networks that separates an internal local area network (LAN) from other untrusted networks.

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