How to Become a Security Source Code Auditor

Security Source Code Auditor Job Overview

Source Code is like our Genome- a technical instruction manual that indicates how we function. In this analogy, if code is like the genome than any genetic disrupt-er is like a source code bug, and violation to how that code is supposed to operate. Source code auditors therefore are in charge of finding those disruptions and linking them to the source. This may lead to the exposure of a malicious hack. In short, if your job is security source code auditor, then your job is to comb through strain after strain of code to detect this hack. Ever heard the phrase “looking for a black cat in a coal cellar?” That’s what the the source code auditor essentially does, and this job requires patience which we’ll discuss more of in our “soft-skills” section.

Security Source Code Auditor Duties

  • Conduct manual code reviews
  • Analyze every line of source code
  • Utilize penetration testing techniques to locate high or low risk cyber security vulnerabilities.
  • Facilitate team involvement when preparing for audits
  • Train team members on best-practice code creation
  • Ensure that code is secure
  • Present file finding to legal and engineering departments with recommended ways to proceed
  • Examine authentication, authorization, session and communication mechanisms
  • Conduct penetration tests
  • Identify the source of any malicious intent, or any weakness leading to access, and information leaks
  • Working knowledge of intellectual property law, and all governing laws related to information assurance
  • Communicate audit results interdepartmentally and with legal teams


Rather than heading back for your master’s degree for this position, we recommend a bachelor’s degree in computer science or cyber security and then obtaining on-the-job experience and certifications. Most positions will want to know that you have spent the years working through the problems information assurance professionals face on a day in and day out basis. Finish you bachelor’s, grab an entry-level position and work you way through as may certifications as you can. Here are a few to start with:

  • CISA
  • CEH
  • CPT
  • GPEN

For more information on how to get certified, check out our resources section at the bottom of the page.

Security Source Code Auditor 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 the field of source code auditing. 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.

As this is a entry to mid-level position, one way to enter into this position is through education. Most source code will have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or cyber security. Another way to get in is to work your way up through various cyber security positions.

A 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:system administrator, security administrator
  • Mid-Level Level: penetration tester, vulnerability assessor, security auditor, IT security analyst
  • Senior Level: Forensics expert, CISO, Security director, Cyber threat analyst

Security Source Code Auditor Technical Skills

  • Java
  • C
  • C++
  • C#
  • .NET
  • PHP
  • JSP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Software development
  • App life cycle knowledge
  • QA Methodologies
  • Pen testing
  • Ethical hacking
  • Knowledge of secure coding standards like CERT/CC

Security Source Code Auditor Soft Skills

  • Strong code of ethics
  • Patience
  • “Sticktoitiveness”
  • Creativity and Problem-solving
  • Solid Oral and Written Communication
  • Team leadership
  • Team player
  • Curious
  • Self-motivated
  • Growth Mindset

Security Source Code Auditor Job Outlook and Salary

According to Payscale, the median salary of a security code auditor is $65,286 though can range from $50,000 – $90,000+ It is important to note, however, that this salary range will depend on the job level itself- (whether or not it is entry, mid, or senior) and how much of an educational background you have. As this position is still developing consistent language describing, the job title is difficult to come by in a search we recommend also searching for “security code auditor” and “senior source code auditor”.