How Do I Become a Security Administrator?

Security Administrator Job Overview

When it comes to cyber security, the security administrator will be the first point of contact for all matters related to cyber security. Depending on the type of business, or organization, this will look a little different. What will not change, is that as the security administrator you will be responsible for troubleshooting, installing, and updating all matters related to information assurance. Another title for this position may be Information Assurance Security Officer

Security Administrator Duties

  • Perform vulnerability assessments
  • Scan networks and evaluate for cyber threats
  • Protect systems from vulnerabilities and security breeches such as access violations, tampering, and destruction of secure materials
  • Watch out for any form of unethical activity
  • Provide training regarding all matters of cyber security
  • Define “audits” and define “threats” for greater clarity among colleague and then implement said audits and engage colleague in the purposes of information assurance
  • Build firewalls, and anti-virus software and mend systems that manage security
  • Develop disaster recovery protocols, and effectively communicate those protocols across departments
  • Provide analysts with a current document outlining procedures in an accessible centralized location
  • Develop and modify software tools for quality information assurance
  • Analyze network security architectures and network design diagrams
  • Evaluate and select upgraded operating systems and protocol suites

WikiLeaks: Hactivism or An Information Audit?

When you think about the activity surrounding WikiLeaks do you find yourself relieved to know that this information is available or are you wondering if this has perhaps crossed a privacy line? This is a more than just a practical concern, this is a concern regarding this nation’s highest code of ethics. The word “hactivism” is defined as a subversive use of technology to promote a political agenda. But what is subversive about uncovering the truth? Without heading down a philosophical road discussing “what is truth” it is important to pause and consider how information is manipulated and disseminated to the public eye and when this information is purely objective, completely subjective or something in between. Perhaps today we can’t put a finger on what is exactly the right answer, but it is still essential that you, as a Security Administrator consider the nature of the information you are protecting. In this role, you may find yourself on the flip side of an information audit and it is essential to show evidence that the organization or company is acting according to ethical codes. Ethical codes are decided by the company or organization, but across the board ethics will ensure that information you secure does not deface the government- which many will define as treason. Certainly something to consider at the outset of your career in cyber security. For more interesting facts on “hactivism” check out there Shocking Facts on Cyber Security

Security Administrator Career Pathway

Based on your starting point (whether you’re already active in cyber security, a service member, IT specialist, or a student) there are a few paths to entering in as a Security Administrator. We’ve listed some different levels at which you can engage in security jobs below. These levels will depend on the typical number of years of experience associated with career stages (entry, middle, senior) as well as how specialized your education is. For an in-depth look at how job experience in cyber security and education levels compare and contrast, check out our guide on how to prepare for a career in cyber security.

A note on this position: you will want to start with a Bachelor’s in Cyber Security, though evaluate the job market and take a look at what is required- you may be ready to roll with an and a certification in cyber security. If you want to do a little more digging and are not quite ready for a degree in cyber security check out how to get all of the information for free using Cyber Security MOOCs. Also note that years of experience and a thorough understanding of what the role entails are very impressive and valuable to a potential employer.

Side note on the positions below: Some job titles are tiered within that position- a position labeled “mid-level” for example, may have a range between mid to advanced.

  • Entry level:junior vulnerability assessor,system administrator, security administrator
  • Mid-Level Level: penetration tester, vulnerability assessor, security auditor, Vulnerability Assessment Analyst
  • Senior Level: Vulnerability Assessment Analyst, CISO, Security director, Cyber Threat Analyst, Senior Security Administrator, Security Information Assurance Administrator

Technical Skills Required of a Security Administrator

  • Split multi-line trunking
  • C++
  • C#
  • SANS methodology
  • Address Resolution Protocol, Frame relay, SPB
  • JCL
  • L4-L7 protocols/ OSI model.
  • Unix/Linux and Windows
  • Hardware and Software- test bed design
  • Variations on physical layer protocol for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Modems, Etherloops and more
  • Cloud Security
  • Web-based applications
  • Understanding of secure frameworks like NIST, HIPPA,SOX
  • Reverse engineering

Soft Skills Required of a Security Administrator

  • Innovative
  • Out-of-box thinking
  • Creative
  • Strong Oral and Written Communication
  • “Sticktoitivness”
  • Inquisitive
  • Calm and Positive under Pressure
  • Troubleshooting, reasoning, and problem solving

Job Outlook and Salary for Security Administrators

There are thousands of jobs available for Security Administrators across the nation, and over a million positions open in the general field. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Security positions are projected to grow by 18% by 2024, which is much faster than average for other fields. According to PayScale the average salary for a Security Administrator is $64,424 per year with a range from $42,000-$90,000+ per year.

Security Administrator Resources