Security architecture and design is an important area in any organization that processes, transfers and stores data. It is a unified form of security design that helps organizations address necessities and potential risks involved when using computer applications and network infrastructures. In this architecture, experts clearly outline the security design principles that should be used and detailed security control specifications.

Components of Security Architecture

Security architecture consists of three major components. These are the tools used, people involved and the procedures followed when designing, implementing and managing various security features. Security architecture experts must apply the policies outlining the management’s expectations to align these components effectively. They must have a deeper understanding how the architecture should be implemented and enforced within the organization using these components. They must also clearly indicate the security control drivers integrated with the architecture. These include risk management measures, good security practices, finances and legislation.

Major Phases in Security Architecture

There are four major phases in security architecture. They include architecture risk assessment, security design, operations and monitoring and implementation. Architecture risks assessment helps evaluate the vital business processes and determine the effects and odds of security risks and vulnerabilities. Security design is the approach to software and hardware development that seek to make them free from security threats and vulnerabilities. Implementation deals with the techniques and procedures used to implement, operate and control software and hardware within the organization. Operation and monitoring involve day-to-day security activities, such as threat management and vulnerability control. Here, security architects take various measures to supervise and handle the operations of the organization’s hardware and software.

Becoming a Security Architecture Expert

In order for security architecture to work properly, there must be a team of experts who are well-trained and skilled on issues pertaining to computer systems and network security.

To become an expert in security architecture, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science. However, many employers seek applicants with knowledge of software engineering. A computer science degree will take you between three and four years to complete. You may want to enroll in a master’s degree program to increase your job prospects. A master’s degree in IT security is most preferred qualification. You can also supplement your academic papers with further training and certification. Most employers require advanced certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and Certified SCADA Security Architect (CSSA).

You must also acquire some skills to enable you work effectively as a security architect. You must be able to assess risks, formulate policies and analyze security attack pathologies. You must have some knowledge of ISO 27001/27002 and COBIT frameworks, Linux, Windows and UNIX operating systems, VLAN and wireless security and cloud risk assessment methodologies. You must also possess good oral and listening skills and be a strategic problem-solver.

Security Architecture and Design Career Outlook

Computer and network security is one of the few areas that have a high demand for experts. This demand is mainly due to the increasing usage of technology across all economic sectors and the growing number of cyber-attacks. Those who specialize in this field earn some of the best salaries in the US. According to PayScale, security architects earn a median salary of $120,091 per year. The salary ranges between $87,200 and $165,255.

The increasing usage of the internet in the corporate world comes with a lot of security threats. As a result, companies have put up various measures to try and prevent any security breach in their systems. One of them is employing security architecture and design experts to help identify and control various security threats.