Learn about Security Engineering
Security Engineering: FAQ
1 What is Security Engineering?
Security engineering is a specialized field of IT engineering in which an engineer or software developer applies their skills toward effecting problem solving, improvement, and/or hardening of information systems to withstand malicious attacks or other disruptions.
Although it's becoming more common today, it is rare that organizations build their systems with security as the leading design principle. Most security strategies are responsive in nature and require coordinating multiple disparate products, syncing security data, or making a boxed product do something it's not necessarily designed for.
When it becomes necessary to go down the road less traveled, an expert security engineer or developer can help provide the needed skills to architect, configure, deploy, and integrate all the components of a comprehensive security strategy.
2 What roles do Security Engineers play?
A security engineer or security-oriented software developer can fill any or all of the below roles to provide the glue to unify or streamline a cybersecurity program.
The initial steps always begin "on paper," to gather the goals and requirements of a project. The driving forces that necessitate a particular security measure can vary from regulatory compliance to a specialized response to mitigate a newly discovered threat. A security engineer must have the experience and knowledge to architect the strategy and the plan for deployment.
As powerful as modern security products are, proper configuration can make or break their effectiveness. "Misconfiguration" is even considered a form of security vulnerability.
Configuration can range from setup for the networks or domains requiring coverage, SIEM or EDR products that utilize agents or scanning, and importing the applicable threat feeds into a security analytics platform to aid in correlation. The possibilities are endless.
The opportunity to disrupt users and business processes peaks during the deployment stage of any addition or update to an organization's systems and software. Even the most thorough and well thought out deployment plan can reveal surprises or overlook critical configuration items that just break stuff. This is especially true given that many iterative cybersecurity tactics remove unnecessary user authorization.
A deployment strategy and tactical plan are critical to minimizing issues. A Security Engineer with years of experience can identify opportunities for potential misstep before a deployment locks 100,000 employees out of their accounts.
Information Technology lives and breathes by the idea that disparate systems can be made to communicate. The security product landscape is no different. With hundreds of software vendors providing solutions that run the gamut of scope, applicability, and purpose, it is unavoidable that two or more products or systems will need to work together.
Whether it's a script to synchronize data, a shim to make two wildly different APIs share data, or a plugin to extend the functionality of a "boxed" software, our engineers and developers can do it.
After the architecture, configuration, deployment, and integration phases are completed, the day-to-day operations of a finely tuned system must effectively weather every situation that could interrupt function and performance. Operationalizing strategies and tactics from upstream can often be more easily mandated than accomplished.
If operations include routine redeployment of virtualization containers or updates to code, a security-oriented software developer specializing in operations or "DevOps" can provide valuable guidance and insight.