How to Become a Network Security Engineer

Network security engineers are responsible for minimizing security risks to a network and for setting up proper security protocols and procedures. Network security is a rising concern for many companies, and those within the industry will find themselves with incredible job security and opportunities for advancement.

What Is a Network Security Engineer?

Bachelor's Degree
1 to 5 years
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

A network security engineer is responsible for the overall security of a company. They use the most advanced technology and the most recent security protocols to create a network system that can protect confidential and important information. Network security engineers need to be aware of the newest security standards and encryption protocols, and they also need to keep updated on new system breaches and possible security risks. Today, network security engineers need to be especially conscientious of the risks that employee devices and wireless networks can represent. Network engineers are closely related to information security analysts and computer network analysts, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the field has faster than average growth.

Network security engineers sometimes work for large IT firms or may be part of an IT team in a specific company. Those that work for larger IT firms will often come in on a consulting basis to either set up a security system or deal with issues with an existing security system. Those that are part of a team in a specific company will usually need to constantly update the system and troubleshoot any issues.

What Does a Network Security Engineer Do?

Network security engineers need to keep themselves current on the most recent technology and news. For this reason, many security engineers will need to attend seminars and regularly keep up with periodicals and other information. Network security is a constantly changing industry, and many companies will pay for a network security engineer to keep their certifications updated and to attend the relevant training.

When setting up a network, a security engineer will often work closely with their clients to ascertain their client’s needs and to set up a network that is secure with the most current technology. Engineers will usually work with different types of hardware and software to ensure that a network is as secure as possible. Security engineers will test these networks once they are setup, and they may also need to train existing staff members on the proper use of these networks and the proper security protocols.

How Do You Become a Network Security Engineer?

Network security engineers can enter the field in a few different ways. Those within the industry can become a security engineer through the acquisition of certifications which show that they have studied the security field and are aware of the most recent security technology. Network administrators and systems administrators can enter into this field through experience and knowledge. The most prized certifications for this field are usually gained through Cisco.

Many security engineers will have Bachelor’s Degrees in a field related to computer science, but this isn’t always necessary. Security engineers can also be computer systems analysts or network and systems architects.

How Do You Advance as a Network Security Engineer?

Network security engineers can move into the positions of computer network architects, information security analysts or other related fields. Information security analysts, as shown on O*Net Online, have a median salary of $86,170 and a faster than average growth. All of these occupational fields have some overlap, and many of them may have the same job duties depending on the companies they are with. This offers someone skilled within the fields a significant amount of mobility within the IT industry.

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