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How to write an IT security engineer job description

Taylor Armerding | July 31, 2017
The IT security engineer is on the front line of protecting a company's assets from threats. The job requires strong technical, organizational and communication skills.

How to write an IT security engineer job description
Credit: Thinkstock

Whatever the role, good communication regarding the duties and expectations of a security professional is key to that person’s success. That communication starts with a solid, thorough job description. It will be an important benchmark when hiring for the role, and a touch point for performance once the candidate is on board. The job description is also a baseline that helps security team managers keep pace as many roles evolve.

IT security engineer is a relatively new job title, with the responsibilities and scope still in flux. Its focus is on quality control within the IT infrastructure. This includes designing, building and defending scalable, secure, and robust systems; working on operational data center systems and networks; helping the organization understand advanced cyber threats; and helping to create strategies to protect those networks.

Those strategies generally include monitoring and protecting sensitive data and systems from intrusions. This person usually works as part of a larger IT team and reports directly to upper management.

 

Key duties

  • Develop and carry out information security plans and policies
  • Develop strategies to respond to and recover from a security breach
  • Develop or implement open-source/third-party tools to assist in detection, prevention and analysis of security threats
  • Awareness training of the workforce on information security standards, policies and best practices
  • Implement protections
  • Installation and use of firewalls, data encryption and other security products and procedures
  • Conduct periodic network scans to find any vulnerability
  • Conduct penetration testing, simulating an attack on the system to find exploitable weaknesses
  • Monitor networks and systems for security breaches, through the use of software that detects intrusions and anomalous system behavior
  • Investigate security breaches
  • Lead incident response, including steps to minimize the impact and then conducting a technical and forensic investigation into how the breach happened and the extent of the damage

 

Skills and competencies

This section outlines the technical and general skills required as well as any certificates or degrees that a company might expect an information security engineer to have. Key technical skills include:

  • Expertise in anti-virus software, intrusion detection, firewalls and content filtering
  • Knowledge of risk assessment tools, technologies and methods
  • Expertise in designing secure networks, systems and application architectures
  • Disaster recovery, computer forensic tools, technologies and methods
  • Planning, researching and developing security policies, standards and procedures
  • System administration, supporting multiple platforms and applications
  • Expertise with mobile code, malicious code, and anti-virus software
  • The IT security engineer should also have experience with and knowledge of:
  • Endpoint security solutions, including file integrity monitoring and data loss prevention
  • AWS and cloud platform as a service (PaaS) security
  • Automating security testing tools
  • Chef – a configuration management tool
  • Git – a tool that helps track anomalous changes to files

 

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