Everything you need to know about being a Network Security Engineer

Network Security

What is a Network Security Engineer?

Whether you are looking to find your nearest Network Security Engineer or simply wanting to find out more about what a Network Security Engineer does; this complete guide will answer all your questions.

Ever wondered about a security engineer salary or what network security jobs are available? We cover all this, along with providing a full network engineers job description in this guide to everything you need to know about a network security engineer.

If you have ever needed a professional to help you free your equipment or network from malware, viruses, spyware, and other harmful computer programs, you would typically call upon the services of a Network Security Engineer to help you resolve such matters.

A Network Security Engineer is responsible for helping to protect your company network from cyber-attacks. They can help clean things up if you are experiencing issues and more importantly, help you get the right processes and software in place to ensure that your network is safeguarded from any future attacks.

How Much Does a Network Security Engineer Earn?

The opportunities that exist for a Network Security Engineer are plentiful. Network Security Jobs are available across the entire industry spectrum. Everyone from Finance companies, Universities, Hospitals, IT providers, Retail Organizations, Insurance Agencies and more, each require a dedicated or contracted Network Security Engineer to help safeguard their essential corporate network.

This makes working as a Network Security Engineer an incredibly sought-after and diverse job.

In terms of answering the question of how much money does a Network Security Engineer make, this can differ greatly depending on the industry, city & state you choose to work in, your experience, the location of the Network Security Engineer Job, and your qualifications.

According to an evaluation of Network Engineers Salaries on payscale.com, the entry-level salary for a Network Security Engineer in the U.S is $73.030, roughly equating to $25 per hour, and with many organizations, they offer either a profit share scheme or other form of bonus as part of their overall Network Security Engineer Job offer.

Based on figures provided by the same site, the average salary for a Network Security Engineer in 2018 is $84,749, which equates to an approximate hourly rate of $35.

Some of the significant skills that can impact upon your ability to attract a higher Network Security Engineer Salary are listed below.

  • Switching and Routing
  • Checkpoint
  • Security Testing and Audits
  • Security Intrusion Detection
  • IT Security and Infrastructure

What Does a Network Security Engineer Do?

If you are looking for an example job description for a Network Security Engineer, you might find that the roles and responsibilities of a Network Security Engineer can vary greatly from one job to the next.

Before we outline a typical job description for a Network Security Engineer along with a full explanation of what a Network Security Engineer does, let us first tell you about the different types of Network Security Engineers that exist, and the different names they are given.

A Network Security Engineer can also be referred to ask any of the below titles:

  • Information Security Architect
  • Information Security Engineer
  • Network Architect
  • Network and Security Engineer
  • Cyber Security Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • Security Network Engineer
  • Security Solutions Architect

While there might be minute differences in each of the network and security engineer jobs that are listed, the fundamental roles and responsibilities of the Network Security Engineer remain the same.

Firewall system

Network Security Engineer Job Description

A Network Security Engineer is a fundamental part of any organization. Small to Large companies usually require the services of an Information Security Engineer; however, it is usually medium to large sized operations who have the budget to hire a Network Engineer on a full-time basis.

Typically, a Security Engineer is tasked with the provision of, the deployment of, the configuration of, and network administration of all network and security associated software and hardware within an organization.

Some of the role-specific equipment that a Network and Security Engineer will need to manage may include:

  • Routers
  • Switchers
  • Firewalls
  • VPNs

A Network and Security Engineer will also routinely undertake network-based risk assessments in order to test and audit the overall security of a network. They may also be involved in a team that helps to design new solutions for corporate network infrastructure. If a company wants to replace their existing LAN, WAN or server architecture, it a common Network Security Engineer task to get involved with.

Do All Network and Security Engineer Jobs Allow You to Work from Home?

If working from home is important to you, there are lots of Network and Security Engineering Jobs that give their workers the freedom to work remotely. This is very much dependent on the company and the type of Network Engineer Job they do.

While the vast majority of Network Security Engineers work from a single location, such as with a larger corporate company, there are lots of Network Engineer jobs which may require a degree of travel, in some cases, this could be as much as 75% of your time.

There are lots of jobs for Network Security Engineering positions with organizations that are responsible for the implementation of third-party security solutions on behalf of other businesses. For those who spend a lot of their time travelling with their jobs, employers are more likely to allow these Security Engineers to work from home when they are not required to travel for business.

There are also lots of individual Network Security Consultants who work on a freelance or contractor basis. With this, they get the freedom to work from wherever they wish.

Additional Reads:

What are The Roles of a Security Network Engineer?

As mentioned earlier in the post, depending on who you work for and what type of business you work within, there will be a degree of flexibility in the tasks a Network Engineer will do. Below is a list of the most common duties a Network Engineer will undertake.

Sample Information Security Tasks

  • Firewall maintenance
  • VPN configuration and ongoing maintenance
  • Web and Email Security protocols
  • Safeguarding of Switches, Servers, and the overall IT system
  • Track, record, and monitor any security concerns
  • Record security incidents and produce periodic security reporting for the organization
  • Monitor WAN, LAN, organizational security and server architecture
  • Resolve any present vulnerabilities or security issues such as malfunctioning hardware or viruses
  • The development of tracking scripts to adequately record any vulnerabilities within the current system
  • Regular Vulnerability testing of the company systems
  • The development of new security protocols and technologies
  • Virtualization technologies
  • IDS/IPS
  • Monitor the installations of any new security hardware and software
  • Scoping, Design, and Installation of new server and system architectures
  • Sustain and maintain hardware and software integrity
  • Threat modelling
  • Access and Identity management
  • Formulate bespoke virus detection systems for the organization
  • Security compromise investigations
  • Outline and upkeep of corporate security policies
  • Regular maintenance of firewalls, VPNs, VLANs, VoIP, web and email security programs and protocols such as UDP, IPSec, TCP/IP, and HTTPS
  • APTS, social engineering, phishing, advanced authentication, and network access controllers

Network Security Engineer Questions

Sample Skills Needed

Typically speaking, Network Engineers are renowned for their ability to problem solve and create solutions. It is also important that a Network Security Engineer can work well independently or as part of a team. Communication is also essential along with the ability to formulate reports that will be sent out to senior management.

What Certs Are There for Network Security Engineers

There are lots of different Network Security Engineer certifications available. Different organizations will offer a range of varying accreditation pathways and specific vendors, such as Checkpoint, will each offer their own Network Security Engineer certifications. There is almost always a cost of getting certified as a Network Security Engineer. However, if you choose the right certifications or decide to specialize in a particular field, this can result in better access to Network Security Engineer jobs along with a better salary or remuneration package.

Cisco, CompTIA, VMWare, Red Hat, and Citrix each offer a range of Network Security Engineer Training courses and certifications. Cisco is considered to be one of the most popular pathways that Network Engineers take.

Cisco Networking Certifications

  • CCENT – Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician
  • CCNA –Cisco Certified Network Associate
  • CCNP – Cisco Certified Network Professional
  • CCNP Security – Cisco Certified Network Professional Security

GIAC Security Certifications

  • GSEC – GIAC Security Essentials Certification
  • GISF – GIAC Security Information Fundamentals
  • GCIA – GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst
  • GDAT – GIAC Defending Advanced Threats

CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional

Regardless of whether you have a Degree in Computer Science, it is also advisable that you get certified in order to boost your knowledge, exposure, and chances of gaining employment. For many employers, if they can see a candidate for a Network Security Engineer job has the relevant experience, training, and certifications; this will almost always be accepted in place of a Degree.

Why Network Security is SO Important

Securing information on your company network is essential. When the question of network security arises, the easiest way to review its importance is to simply ask the question of how your organization would operate without access to its data?

The benefits of having good Network Security are compelling and relevant to all businesses, of all sizes.

  • Keep Shared Information Secure
  • Safeguard your Customer Information
  • Meet Compilatory or Regulatory Standards
  • Safeguard Company Equipment from Cyber Attacks
  • Network Stability and Increased Network Performance

Online threats and data dependence are two of the clearest and most compelling reasons why all organizations need to address and review their network security on a continual basis. For larger organizations, industry sabotage occurs more frequently that one might consider. It is often a compromised corporate network that can provide an easy route in for those looking to steal data or cause a security incident.

For smaller to medium sized organization, they are often viewed as easier targets due to them not having the same resources as the larger corporations to protect and safeguard the integrity of their network.

Simply put, everyone is a potential target, and each organization regardless of its size is dependent on the successful running of systems and processes in order to gain access to data and serve their customers. Employees also need to have access to systems and information in order to do their jobs effectively. Another key factor that Network Security can impact is the stability of a network, and more importantly, it’s ability to cope with high-traffic or high-demand without grinding to a complete halt.