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Become A Senior Systems Security Engineer

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Working As A Senior Systems Security Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $106,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Systems Security Engineer Do

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases.

Duties

Information security analysts typically do the following:

  • Monitor their organization’s networks for security breaches and investigate a violation when one occurs
  • Install and use software, such as firewalls and data encryption programs, to protect sensitive information
  • Prepare reports that document security breaches and the extent of the damage caused by the breaches
  • Conduct penetration testing, which is when analysts simulate attacks to look for vulnerabilities in their systems before they can be exploited
  • Research the latest information technology (IT) security trends
  • Help plan and carry out an organization’s way of handling security
  • Develop security standards and best practices for their organization
  • Recommend security enhancements to management or senior IT staff
  • Help computer users when they need to install or learn about new security products and procedures

Information security analysts must continually adapt to stay a step ahead of cyberattackers. They must stay up to date on the latest methods attackers are using to infiltrate computer systems and on IT security. Analysts need to research new security technology to decide what will most effectively protect their organization. This may involve attending cybersecurity conferences to hear firsthand accounts of other professionals who have experienced new types of attacks.

IT security analysts are heavily involved with creating their organization’s disaster recovery plan, a procedure that IT employees follow in case of emergency. These plans allow for the continued operation of an organization’s IT department. It includes preventive measures such as regularly copying and transferring data to an offsite location. It also involves plans to restore proper IT functioning after a disaster. Analysts continually test the steps in their recovery plans.

Because information security is important, these workers usually report directly to upper management. Many information security analysts work with an organization’s computer and information systems manager or chief technology officer (CTO) to design security or disaster recovery systems.

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How To Become A Senior Systems Security Engineer

Most information security analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Employers usually prefer analysts to have experience in a related occupation.

Education

Information security analysts usually need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a related field. As information security continues to develop as a career field, many schools are responding with information security programs for prospective job seekers. These programs may become a common path for entry into the occupation. Currently, a well-rounded computer education is preferred.

Employers of information security analysts sometimes prefer applicants who have a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems. Programs offering the MBA in information systems generally require 2 years of study beyond the undergraduate level and include both business and computer-related courses.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Information security analysts generally need to have previous experience in a related occupation. Many analysts have experience in an information technology department, often as a network or systems administrator. Some employers look for people who have already worked in fields related to the one in which they are hiring. For example, if the job opening is in database security, they may look for a database administrator. If they are hiring in systems security, a computer systems analyst may be an ideal candidate.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

There are a number of information security certifications available, and many employers prefer job candidates to have one. Certification validates the knowledge and best practices required from information security analysts. Some are general information security certificates, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional, and others have a narrow focus, such as penetration testing or systems auditing.

Advancement

Information security analysts can advance to become chief security officers or another type of computer and information systems manager.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Information security analysts must carefully study computer systems and networks and assess risks to determine how security policies and protocols can be improved.

Detail oriented. Because cyberattacks can be difficult to detect, information security analysts pay careful attention to their computer systems and watch for minor changes in performance.

Ingenuity. Information security analysts anticipate information security risks and implement new ways to protect their organizations’ computer systems and networks.

Problem-solving skills. Information security analysts respond to security alerts and uncover and fix flaws in computer systems and networks.

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Senior Systems Security Engineer Career Paths

Senior Systems Security Engineer
Senior Security Engineer Information Technology Manager Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Security Engineer Information Technology Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Security Engineer Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Information Assurance Engineer Manager, Information Assurance Senior Project Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Information Assurance Engineer Manager, Information Assurance Chief Information Officer
Deputy Chief Information Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Information Assurance Engineer Manager, Information Assurance Information Security Manager
Security Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Project Manager Information Systems Director
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Operations Director Director, Network Operations
Director Of Network Services
10 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Systems Manager
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior System Administrator Network Manager
Data Center Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Security & Network Engineer Senior Security Consultant
Security Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Security & Network Engineer Information Security Manager Information Technology Security Manager
Director Of Information Technology Security
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Security & Network Engineer Lead Network Engineer Senior Network Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Systems Security Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Security Engineer 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Senior Systems Security Engineer
Top Careers After Senior Systems Security Engineer
Consultant 4.2%

Do you work as a Senior Systems Security Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$106,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$80,000
Min 10%
$106,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Median 50%
$139,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
KBR
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Senior Systems Security Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Systems Security Engineer in the United States is $106,475 per year or $51 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $80,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $140,000.

Real Senior Systems Security Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Systems Security Engineer Salesforce.com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 15, 2015 $150,696
SR. Distributed Systems Engineer, Software Defined Security Salesforce.com Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 03, 2016 $138,445
SR. Distributed Systems Engineer, Software Defined Security Salesforce.com Inc. Seattle, WA Sep 30, 2016 $131,976
Senior Network & Systems Security Engineer Bloomberg, LP New York, NY May 26, 2015 $125,000
Senior Security Systems Engineer/Architect Edgile, Inc. San Jose, CA Dec 26, 2010 $98,530 -
$115,000
SR. Systems Security Engineer World Wide Technology Holding Co., Inc. Saint Louis, MO Dec 26, 2010 $97,000
Senior Security Systems Engineer BT Americas Inc. El Segundo, CA Oct 01, 2015 $96,210
Senior Systems Security Engineer Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Allen, TX Mar 14, 2016 $95,014
Senior Security Systems Engineer BT Americas, Inc. El Segundo, CA Jul 14, 2014 $92,059

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Top Skills for A Senior Systems Security Engineer

  1. Information Technology
  2. Assurance
  3. Vulnerability Assessments
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted the Navy Security Department for Information Technology.
  • Provide Systems Engineering and Information Assurance Support to Classified computing environments as well as unclassified systems.
  • Led vulnerability assessments against emerging technologies in a fast-paced, high-visibility environments.
  • Reviewed, analyzed and accredited DoD agency programs, systems and networks to ensure consistent and accurate reporting to accreditation authorities.
  • Interfaced with Physical Security Specialists, Security Systems Field Technicians, and Security Systems Engineers to ensure systems integrity.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Systems Security Engineers

  1. New Jersey
  2. Virginia
  3. Rhode Island
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Maryland
  6. New Mexico
  7. New York
  8. Washington
  9. North Carolina
  10. California
  • (708 jobs)
  • (3,447 jobs)
  • (109 jobs)
  • (651 jobs)
  • (2,004 jobs)
  • (228 jobs)
  • (1,090 jobs)
  • (944 jobs)
  • (798 jobs)
  • (4,480 jobs)

Senior Systems Security Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

74.3%

Female

13.9%

Unknown

11.8%
Ethnicity

White

59.1%

Black or African American

14.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Asian

8.9%

Unknown

4.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Russian

28.6%

Portuguese

28.6%

Serbian

14.3%

Cheyenne

14.3%

Spanish

14.3%
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Senior Systems Security Engineer Education

Schools

University of Maryland - University College

15.8%

Colorado Technical University

11.6%

Strayer University

10.5%

George Washington University

9.5%

University of Phoenix

5.3%

American InterContinental University

5.3%

George Mason University

5.3%

Community College of the Air Force

4.2%

Johns Hopkins University

4.2%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.2%

Webster University

3.2%

Iowa State University

3.2%

Hawaii Pacific University

3.2%

Norwich University

2.1%

Bowie State University

2.1%

Wayland Baptist University

2.1%

Argosy University-Phoenix

2.1%

University of Central Oklahoma

2.1%

Columbia Southern University

2.1%

Park University

2.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

14.3%

Business

11.3%

Information Technology

10.0%

Computer Systems Security

9.5%

Computer Information Systems

9.1%

Electrical Engineering

8.2%

Management Information Systems

5.2%

Computer Networking

4.3%

Criminal Justice

4.3%

Systems Engineering

3.9%

Management

3.9%

Computer Engineering

3.0%

Project Management

2.6%

Information Systems

2.2%

Education

2.2%

Engineering

1.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.3%

General Studies

1.3%

Political Science

0.9%

Intelligence Operations

0.9%
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Degrees

Masters

36.5%

Bachelors

30.1%

Other

18.1%

Associate

7.8%

Certificate

3.9%

Doctorate

3.5%
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