How to Become a Network Security Administrator
What is a Network Security Administrator?
The Network Security Administrator (or Systems Administrator) is a jack-of-all-trades in the security sector. Ultimately, it’s the Network Security Administrator’s job to keep an organization’s network safe, up-to-date and running smoothly. This entails a strong technical background, but can also require a strong understanding of policy, as it is often the Network Security Administrator’s responsibility to form and employ effective security policies for an organization.
With many companies running multiple computers and software platforms, a Network Security Admin has a lot of opportunities within a single organization to work with cyber security needs across a network.
What is the Average Salary?
According to Payscale.com, a Network Security Administrator can make anywhere from $41,146 to $98,992; making the median salary $65,726.
What are a Network Security Administrator’s Responsibilities?
Companies of all sizes and sectors need- at least one- Network Security Administrator, so the possible responsibilities sometimes seem endless. Also, depending on what an organization’s network runs on, experience with certain hardware (such as Cisco) and other systems may be required.
To give you a holistic view, I’ve looked at a range of Network Security Administrator job listings to find some of the most common responsibilities required.
- Assist in administration of the [company] network
- Providing backup for management and operation of SIEM tools and Network Device Management
- Plan/perform regularly scheduled maintenance
- Document and test continuity plans
- Manage employee access and access to resources
- Ensure system integrity
- Manage antivirus applications
- Manage, review and respond to event monitoring and intrusion detection
- Provide audit support
- Work with outside vendors
- Make recommendations
- Observe and Develop Policies
- Develop business case justifications and cost/benefit analysis for IT spending and initiatives
What Educational Background is required?
Across the board, a bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering or related field is a required qualification for most Network Security Administrator roles.
I also noticed that this is one of the few job titles which many employers actually require particular certifications, most frequently CompTIA’s Security+ and Network+ along with CISSP. (Luckily, we have you covered there.) While some job listings have a required minimum Network Admin experience requirement, many just require experience with specific hardware, software, environments and tools.
What Certifications should I take?
Where should I start?
Obviously, for your best bet to land a Network Security Administrator job, you need to acquire an undergraduate degree in computer science or related field.
Also, acquiring your CompTIA Security+ certification is a great, beginner/intermediate certificate to obtain first. Other than this, you need to find your mentors and colleagues who will help familiarize you with a variety of environments and tools which could be pertinent to your future career.
Network Security Administrator not for you? Learn How to become a Penetration Tester here!
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