How to pursue a cyber security career as a security architect


If you want to pursue a career in cyber security, you’ll be pleased to know there is a plethora of opportunities available within the industry. One of the more specialised roles is that of the security architect.

Security architects are integral for organisations across the globe. These experts are responsible for overseeing security measures within a project, ensuring businesses have the best defences against cyber threats.

To increase your chances of finding the right security architect job for you, there are a few specialties you can take on to foster some of the key skills required for such an advanced position.


What is a security architect?

In the constantly growing field of cyber security, organisations require highly trained professionals to keep on top of their security provisions. This is where the security architect comes in.

When a new network is developed, a security architect supervises the build and implements the best defensive measures. Without this role, businesses would set themselves up for failure by launching without considering what security provisions should be in place.

However, security architects aren’t just responsible for defensive measures. They are proactive by nature, boasting aptitudes for penetration testing, incident response and firewalls. Moreover, they possess an enveloping knowledge of computer networking, which is essential as they play such an integral role in the building of networks.


What are the responsibilities of a security architect?

The primary responsibility of a security architect is to design, implement and maintain security measures within a project. This means that staying up to date on relevant and changing technologies is imperative. Additionally, you’ll often be required to oversee an organisation’s security team and conduct cyber security awareness programs for colleagues.

Of course, each company will have its own requirements when hiring a security architect, but the skills you’ll need won’t fluctuate much. Some of the responsibilities you can expect to take on include:

  • Evaluating and implementing security measures

  • Managing employee privileges

  • Maintaining identity and access management (IAM) architecture

  • Performing security reviews of third-party technologies

  • Directing security training initiatives within your organisation

  • Conducting regular security tests

On top of these, you’ll be responsible for defining, producing and implementing any corporate security procedures that are needed by your organisation, as well as ensuring the employees understand and comply with them.


What skills are needed for a security architect?

Security architecture requires a particular skill set. In terms of soft skills, you’ll be an efficient communicator and an analytical problem-solver. Professionals have to supervise multiple projects and teams, as well as have the ability to explain complex, technical information in layman’s terms.

On the technical side, here are some of the aspects of cyber security that candidates require a comprehensive understanding of:

  • Cloud security risk assessment

  • Network security architecture

  • Identity and access management

  • Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems

  • Programming languages

  • Software development

  • Perimeter security controls

  • Third-party auditing

Like many jobs within the cyber security industry, your education is never-ending. You’ll constantly be required to stay up to date with emerging threats, the latest trends and best practices.


Are security architects in demand?

As organisations continue to conduct more and more business and leisure online, the demand for security architect professionals is increasing. Threats to networks and computer systems can’t be ruled out, so cyber security is a booming industry. However, being a more advanced role, the number of jobs available for security architects can often be fewer.

Don’t let this curb your enthusiasm, though. A security architect is a highly sought-after role and for good reason. Landing an entry-level position to develop the key hard skills is how the majority of professionals start. Additionally, the demand for these jobs is very high, so cyber security experts will have a much better success rate with applications.


Security architect jobs in the United Kingdom

The nature of security architecture means that specialists will largely be individuals with a wealth of industry experience and certain qualifications to their name. If you’re looking to get into this career, you’ll find there are various ways to carve a path for yourself to become a security architect.


How do you become a cyber security architect?

Usually, the position of security architect is not an entry-level role. Most businesses expect their prospective employees to have between five and  ten years of experience in the IT field, with a substantial proportion of that time spent working in cyber security. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll be rewarded with a prestigious, well-paying career with a wide array of potential.

Generally, candidates are required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in information technology, cyber security, computer science or a related field. Alternatively, you can learn some of the hard skills for a security architect role by enlisting in one of many online classes that focus on the subject.

Recruiters and organisations are usually looking at prospects who can demonstrate some level of experience within the sector. This includes five to ten years of experience with IT. Specific skills you’ll want to highlight are application development, systems analysis and business planning.

For those looking to get into the industry for the first time, it may seem daunting. But there’s no need to worry. In fact, most security architects gain experience in other cyber security roles before transitioning into this position. Some jobs you should be on the lookout for that will foster relevant skills are:

  • Incident responder

  • Security specialist

  • Security analyst

  • Security engineer

  • Security consultant

  • IT auditor


Do security architect jobs pay well?

As security architect is considered a management-level position, you can expect to be compensated well within the profession. Of course, your earnings will be contingent on experience and location.

For those just starting in security architecture, you can expect a salary in the region of £45,000 to £50,000. More experienced professionals will receive greater compensation, with the average security architect income being £70,000 and the most senior experts earning above £90,000.


Where can you find security architect jobs in the United Kingdom?

When looking for cyber security jobs, the best place to start is with a dedicated jobs site that specialises in those positions, like Organisations and recruiters look to these websites for a consistent talent pool and they can even contact you directly once you’ve uploaded your CV.

For career advice, consider attending one of our Cyber Security Expos. These events allow you to connect with some of the UK’s most reputable employers and offer the chance to hear the most reputable professionals in the industry speak about their experiences.

Take a look at our latest security architect jobs today to make the next exciting move in your career.