How To Become A Security Administrator

Learn What To Expect As A Security Administrator

Whether we talk about homes, shops, or other places, security is a big issue. Just like we are concerned with the security of our valuable stuff, businesses need a fail-proof system to keep systems secure too.

But the question is, who is going to do that?

Here is the answer: security administrator.

Security administrators resolve all security-related issues. Because of the rapid growth of technology and increasing threats to the systems, there is an increased need for cybersecurity professionals. According to a source, security administrators are one of the top five careers that have a high demand in 2020.

Do you want to know how a security administrator can benefit the company, the requirements for the job, and other details about this profession? Keep reading to learn everything about a security administrator.

What Does A Security Administrator Do?
Roles & Responsibilities

Do you know why security administrators are important for any organization? You will be able to answer this question after you read this. Security administrators look after the security-related issues in the company, while their core job is to develop new systems and policies. They also work to secure the customers’ and the company’s data. In simple words, security administrators are responsible for managing the cybersecurity of an organization. Moreover, they safeguard the system and protect it from the security threats that could harm the system.

As cybersecurity leaders, we have to create our message of influence because security is a culture and you need the business to take place and be part of that security culture.

However, their major role is to install, manage, and troubleshoot all security solutions that are working within the organization. They work together with IT, security leadership, compliance, legal, and other stakeholders. Also, security administrators have access to organizational infrastructure, tools, and technologies as they control the company’s security system. Now that you know why a security administrator is important for the organization, let’s move ahead and discover more about this career.

Duties and Responsibilities

It is important to know what is expected from a security administrator before you choose the career. In general, a security administrator is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Understand the security needs of the organization.
  • Be able to install firewalls, anti-virus, and other required security tools into the systems.
  • Implement plans and make the required changes to offer a more secure and stable security plan. A single security plan doesn’t suit different organizations. Therefore, it should be designed according to the size and requirements of the organization.
  • Be able to integrate the security requirements into the existing system.
  • Make sure all employees are trained and well aware of the security measures.
  • Build a strong defense system against any unauthorized access because such attacks can destroy the system and cause huge financial loss.
  • Conduct regular scans and ensure the cyber network is free from any vulnerable threats.
  • Have regular security audits so that you know the security system is working properly.
  • Manage complete backup to overcome any security issues in the systems.
  • Recommend any modifications in the security policies of an organization.
  • Keep track of the network traffic and take immediate action in case of unusual traffic.

These are the general responsibilities that are expected from security administrators. However, all companies have a tailored job description for their candidates.

What makes a great vulnerability assessor

Are you interested to know the requirements to become a security administrator? Here, we have covered it all for you.

Read further to know the details and unwrap the road to this career.

Educational Background

For the position of a security administrator, the minimum requirement is a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or related field. Also, higher education such as MS or MBA in information technology gets you the job of a security administrator as you develop more skills with a higher degree.

You need to continue learning when you get into the field as there is no limit for education because working with new technology requires updated knowledge and skills.

Certifications

Certifications enhance your CV and professional value for the role. Some companies require specific certifications, so you should get those certifications whenever you get the chance, on top of your degree. It adds up to your experience and offers benefits.

Some certifications to increase your employment chance and boost your technical skills are:

  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate—Routing and Switching (CCNA)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • EC-Council Network Security Administrator (ENSA)
  • CompTIA’s popular base-level security certification (Security+)

Microsoft offers various certifications for security administrators that are system-specific and designed for learning management tools. You might also require these based on your company’s requirements.

In short, you must be updated with the accredited certifications to grab better job opportunities as it increases your salary. Also, certifications attract employers who are looking for highly certified professionals.

Don’t leave any chance to boost your career and stand out in the list of potential candidates.

Work Experience
Moving On

Some hiring companies ask for work experience of a few years, whereas others offer opportunities to newbies as well. The demand for work experience depends on the level of job and the organization’s policies. So, you should apply for the one that suits your expertise and experience.
Aspiring candidates should start their careers from entry-level jobs such as database management, web developer or network engineer. These jobs help them learn the requirements of the field. This way, they can acquire the skill set required for the future role of a security administrator.

Skills Required

A security administrator should have the following skills. These help him to manage the continuously growing cybercrime rates that are a risk for a company.

Hard Skills

We will start with hard skills that set a strong foundation for the career.

  • Must have Technical Knowledge

As security administration is a technical job, it requires a complete understanding of the procedures and techniques involved. The candidate must understand the rules of firewall configuration.

Needless to say, it’s important to have a good grip on Windows and Linux. Knowledge of protocols is also necessary which includes TCP, UDP, SSL, and DNS. Moreover, one must be aware of scripting languages like VB Script, Perl, or Python.

A good understanding of security and data sharing standards such as SOX, HIPAA, and ISO is also required. This enables the security administrator to ensure organizational compliance.

Soft Skills

As you enter the professional world, it’s a lot different there. You’ll realize that having strong command in the field is not useful until you have some soft skills. The most common soft skills that are important for a security administrator are:

  • Leadership Sense

A security administrator must have strong leadership qualities. If working in a large organization, you might be handling a team. With good leadership, you can manage things well and complete the difficult tasks.

  • Good Communication Skills

A security administrator might need to communicate with IT professionals to offer a safe working environment for them. At other times, he has to work with different departments.
So, strong communication skills could help you share ideas and concepts with people who belong from a non-technology background.
Remember, you need to have good oral and written skills, both.

  • Be Detail-oriented

A security administrator must have the capability to understand tasks easily. He must look into the details and find the threats in the cybersecurity system of any organization.

  • Strong Analytical Skills

Sometimes, security administrators need to wear many hats at a time. In such instances, strong analytical skills help him overcome the issues. Moreover, critical thinking is also important. These qualities enable him to solve problems and reach logical conclusions.
You can learn some skills yourself, while on-the-job experience polishes communication and technical skills. Make sure you have all the needed skills to get the role of a security administrator.

Work Requirements

Generally, a security administrator works during regular office hours. However, he must be available on-call in case of emergencies. Sometimes, he needs to visit the office during odd hours if there is an emergency.
So, you need to be flexible as it’s a tough profession.
Security administrators can report to the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Chief Information Security Officer (CSO), or Chief Information Officer (CIO).

What’s The Expected Pay?
Average Earnings

What’s the most exciting part of the job? It’s the payment, of course. We know that you’ll agree. So, without making you wait anymore, let’s reveal how much do security administrators earn.

Information technology is one of the highest-paid fields in the world. Therefore, security administrators get a handsome income.

According to Payscale, an entry-level security administrator makes around $52,981, whereas a mid-level professional with five to nine years of experience earns $72,864. However, senior employees with more than 20 years of experience earn around $92,951.

According to BLS, the high ranked security administrators earn more than $130,000 annually. Whereas, the junior grade employees earn up to $60,000 a year. However, you must understand that the expected salary differs from industry to industry.

The salaries will continue to rise in the coming years as it’s a rewarding profession. You can find the exact salaries here.

Interested to know about the top-paying markets for security administrators? Here you go. Oil and gas industry, finance companies and insurance businesses are the leading sites and pay good salaries.

So, make sure you get a job if you have a chance to get into these industries. It is a privilege to have an attractive salary package in a competitive field. Moreover, your skills, work experience, and determination can help you get a decent position.

Tips To Remember

Now that you know everything about this growing career, it’s time to learn some tips.
Whenever you are hunting for a job position, check the job requirements and then decide. Have a detailed discussion with the employer and ask all the questions related to the job post as it’s usually a long-term decision. Apply only when you are satisfied with the pay rate, work hours and employee benefits.
After all, there are dozens of job opportunities and you might find the right one. So, don’t settle for less than what you deserve.

What’s Next?

Security administration is a bright career with positions ranging from junior to senior posts. However, the levels of the security team depend on the size of the organization. After serving as a security administrator, companies grant you a promotion.
As you move further, you get the ranks of:

The sky’s the limit. Remember, the key to achieving your goals is hard work and commitment, so take it slow and enjoy this step-by-step journey to success.
Keep learning and stay consistent with unlocking better cybersecurity career opportunities.

Conclusion

To sum up, a security administrator is the lifeline of an organization. We hope this article answers all your questions related to a security administrator as we shared everything, including the role of security administrator and the requirements for the career.

If you are looking for career advice, cybersecurity is the right choice if you are interested in a field related to computer science. You need to work hard and put all your efforts to reach your goals. Make sure that you have the technical skills and knowledge to get your dream job as a security administrator.

Good luck!