Network security engineers are protectors of company assets. Because most companies are moving away from paper and pen and towards digital storage, a network security engineer is necessary to protect from unauthorized access to these assets. Network security engineers must keep up-to-date with all cyber threats and related patches. They must create security features that protect the internal network from external threats but allow employees to communicate and work with the network with the best performance.

What Does a Network Security Engineer Do?

Network security engineers add new components to an internal network, add new components to the system, and help provide input for future projects on the necessity of security options. They configure firewalls, update firmware and software with the latest security patches, and protect user desktops from viruses and other types of malware. They identify cyber threats and mitigate damage during attacks. They classify information and provide authorization and authentication to users who need specific information. They are the defense against threats internally and externally. Network security engineers usually work within teams to help other IT staff members implement the right security.

Network Security Engineer Job Responsibilities and Duties

A network security engineer has a busy schedule when new cyber threats are found. If a breach in security occurs, the engineer could be working long hours throughout the day and night. When security runs smoothly, there is much less stress. Applicants can expect a roller coaster of business throughout their career, but there are still some daily tasks that the engineer must carry out to keep the network secure.

Job responsibilities and duties include:

  • Use monitoring software such as IDS and IPS to detect unusual network traffic
  • Configure firewalls, routers and switches
  • Perform risk assessment and identify vulnerabilities on the network
  • Investigate the latest cyber threats and identify if any hardware or software is vulnerable
  • Review new technology and make recommendations for new security components
  • Create security reports for weekly or monthly status meetings
  • Respond to security questions and queries from other management and staff
  • Test any new network additions for any security flaws

These positions require a high level of understanding for networking and security. For this reason, most network security engineers start their careers in other areas of IT before moving on to network security. Most other IT positions where the applicant works with network equipment include some hands-on experience with routers, switches, desktops, servers, and other secure devices.