In this guide for how to hire security architects, we will show you the steps you need to take to find great talent. Security architects are harder to find in today’s global marketplace. The demand for skilled security architects will explode in the next decade, growing 32%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The demand for this type of professional will be so high because of the need for organizations to protect their data security. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 1,802 data breaches in 2022 and more than four million victims. With most data now online, the threat of data theft continues to be significant. The only way to keep data secure is to have talented security architects and developers on your side.
Another challenge is that people in this role need many years of experience and high-level knowledge to be effective. It is common for security architects to have at least 10 years of specific experience in cybersecurity. Finding people with this amount of technical knowledge and experience is difficult. Data security professionals also have to understand the impact AI will make in the industry.
Companies that have employed data security architects have typically seen positive results. One case study of a major hotel brand implemented more data security features by using a team of IT security architects. Besides increased data security, the hotel brand’s data threat manager got peace of mind. “I don’t have to worry about every single thing that may fire in the organization overnight. I know I have that 24/7, eyes on glass kind of coverage,” they commented.
Investing in freelance security architects is a way to keep a business moving forward and protect sensitive data. Hiring for this role requires some creativity and resourcefulness, which this guide will help navigate.
Hiring a Freelance Security Architect
Something else to consider when you want to hire a freelance security architect is how. For large corporations, it may make sense to hire a full-time team of security personnel. Smaller companies and startups may look to hire part-time or freelance security solutions staff.
A team of freelancers gives you more customization options. This means you can scale up or down instantly, depending on your needs. You also save money without having to invest in expensive benefits packages or recruiting timelines. Companies may also get access to the top, most in-demand professionals with the flexibility of a freelance contract.
What Does a Security Architect Do?
Many business leaders wonder: What does a security architect do?
According to Tim Callahan, SVP & Global CISO of Aflac, “Security program design must start with a risk assessment: enterprise risk, business risk, regulatory risk, technology risk, industry risk. And you must keep looking at what's happening in the world right now that could heighten these.”
This quote breaks down the role of the security architect in a simple way. Professionals who focus primarily on data security specialize in risk assessment for a business. They have to understand what the potential threats are to your company’s data and be aware of future advancements in threat intelligence.
Why hire security architects? Hiring security architects helps protect one of your top assets: your information. Nearly all businesses have digitized their data, and without proper protection for your critical infrastructure, you leave an open window for cyber threats and fraud. Security architects can analyze your data process and offer actionable steps to prevent unauthorized people from accessing it.
Security architects are first and foremost network engineers at heart. They also have comprehensive knowledge of computer networking and data-driven technologies. When they work with a corporate client, they have to learn the company’s network setup and design software that keeps information from leaking outside of the network infrastructure. Security architects for hire must also adhere to your organization’s proprietary practices and show discretion.
Security architects may also work with high-level government clients and the military. For these positions, they may have to acquire top security clearances. Candidates working for government and military clients have to pass a background check and demonstrate trustworthiness. For the private sector, this trait is also essential to prevent trade secrets from leaking to competitors.
How To Hire Security Architects
There are a few different strategies and avenues you may look to for hiring a new team of security architects. You have to start by understanding what you may need from a security IT professional. If you do not have a clear vision for your data security and how it works, you may need to partner with a company that caters to the IT industry or hire a consultant.
One place to find potential hires in data security is a professional organization dedicated to the craft. Professional organizations in cybersecurity may have more leads for prospective talent that could deliver for your team.
Another great source of talented professionals for this role is the military. Many military members want to transition from the armed forces to the private sector. Your organization could facilitate that career change and take advantage of the Department of Defense’s quality training system for security architects.
Networking throughout your local area may also give you some promising candidates. Ask other business leaders in your field about their own challenges with building better data security to get specific recommendations for individual security architects. Also, go online and start networking through data security channels and message boards to connect with people who have the skills and knowledge you need.
All of these strategies take a lot of time and effort to hire one individual. There is also a learning curve to finding someone skilled in cybersecurity. Lots of talented business leaders may not have a tech background, making recruiting even more of a challenge. A great option for busy managers who do not have a technical background in this subject is to use online freelance marketplaces or recruiting agencies.
What Skills To Look For When Hiring Security ArchitectsThere are several ideal security architect skills that you need to look for when hiring for this role. Start by searching for candidates with in-demand soft skills that make them a consistent, positive part of your team.
|Project Management Skills
|Security architects have to manage detailed projects that include a lot of moving parts.
|Attention to Detail
|Data security involves understanding lots of code and picking up on errors or problems that the average person may not notice.
|Cybercriminals have come up with lots of different ways to steal data, so IT pros in this role have to stop them with more creative solutions.
|Security architects have to effectively communicate problems, solutions and project details to business stakeholders.
Besides possessing top general skills and strong character traits, a security architect must also have a long list of technical skills. Here are the top hard skills for success in this job:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science
- Knowledge of Programming Languages
- Understanding of Computer Networks and Cloud Computing
- Ability to Build VPNs, Firewalls and Antivirus Programs
- Understanding of Database Software Systems
- Expertise in Security Protocols
How Much Does It Cost To Hire Security Architects?
As an essential IT role, data security architects command hefty salaries. A full-time person for this job makes an average of $144,461 per year. In addition to a base salary, most companies offer perks, such as a full benefits package, bonuses and profit sharing. The average hourly rate for someone in this job is $53.85. Location, experience and other factors may increase or lower that rate.
Tips for Writing a Security Architect Job Description
Most jobs today use online job ads to attract talented applicants. Writing the perfect security architect job description gives you a way to bring the best right to your doorstep. You have to write this job description accurately, especially if you want to work with contractors. When you write your security architect job description, make sure you fully understand the details of the job and the daily responsibilities.
After submitting your job ad, carefully review resumes that match your company’s requirements. During the interview stage, use multiple assessment methods to evaluate a person’s future effectiveness. Create example data security problems they could solve for you or have them walk you through their previous solutions. Get help from an expert tech recruiting firm to help you sift through the candidate pool and focus on hiring a diverse, talented crew.
Common Interview Questions To Ask When You Are Looking To Hire a Security Architect
Before going forward with an interview, you need to do your homework. Make sure you have some expert recruiters helping you out since this job has more IT expertise involved in it. Use the interview to assess a candidate’s technical knowledge, problem-solving process and general trustworthiness when it comes to data security.
A great first question to ask could be, what certifications do you have in this field? Candidates who are serious contenders should have a list of relevant certifications to talk about. Some possible mentions could be Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), CompTIA Security, Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
Next, ask your candidate to explain his or her process for building a data security solution. Confirm the answer for accuracy and effectiveness with someone experienced in security. Ideally, they should explain the process, starting from the backend, with completing a system that protects the client’s data.
The last question that should be on your interview list is: How do you build and implement data security for a cloud computing setup? Most businesses use cloud computing systems for data management today. The candidate’s answer should show a clear understanding of the current trends in data security in the cloud. They should also indicate a desire to learn more about future technologies related to the cloud.
How To Find Freelance Security Architects for Hire
It is tough to find security architects in today’s highly competitive IT environment. If you try our recommended sites to hire security architects and other strategies, you may get a short list of candidates who meet your needs. Using Toptal should be at the top of your strategy list. Toptal makes it easy for non-IT experts to find and hire skilled data security pros. They recruit the very best people who can give you the most peace of mind with protecting your data.
Start planning for the future by employing talented security architects on your team. Data breaches are costly and devastating to companies in all industries. To mitigate your risk of a catastrophic data breach, aim to recruit top security architects for your network needs.
Hiring Security Architects FAQs
- Where can I hire security architects?
- There are expert security architects all over the world. Finding them is the key to accessing their talent and knowledge. Use one of our recommended hiring sites to connect with remote or freelance security architects and negotiate hourly or fixed-price contracts for your network needs.
- Are security architects in demand?
- This job is one of the hottest positions to see growth in the next 10 years. Their specialized knowledge and experience requirements make them harder to find and source. Outsourcing agencies, freelance marketplaces and online recruiters help bring more of this talent pool to companies that need them.
- Why should you hire a security architect?
- Every company that uses data and computer systems needs to prioritize its security systems. Hiring a security architect ensures you get adequate protection from cyber threats. Data security is a must in today’s world, and companies that ignore this issue end up paying financially and legally when their information gets stolen.