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Common IT Security Roles and Responsibilities Explained

Cybercrime is booming, and companies are scrambling to protect themselves. That’s why IT security professionals are now in high demand – they’re the heroes who keep businesses safe. Curious about what they do and how you could become one? Let’s dive into the common IT security roles and responsibilities and what it takes to fill these essential positions.

IT Security Roles and Responsibilities

Learn about the key IT Security roles in a company and their main responsibilities. Keep in mind that their scope depends on the company and other factors.

Application Security Engineer

Application security engineers facilitate the app creation process making sure the apps are secure. They are also in charge of controlling third-party applications that have access to company data. Their responsibilities are:

  • Setting up technical security configurations properly
  • Application risk assessment
  • Creating allow/blacklists for apps
  • Pen-testing

App Security engineers must evaluate SaaS apps to determine whether they should be blocked. We recommend using app risk assessment solutions like SpinOne:


Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is a C-level role with a key responsibility to govern corporate security strategy. Their responsibilities are:

  • Planning and controlling the implementation of a security strategy and DLP procedures
  • Access management
  • General compliance control
  • Cyber events investigation and prevention planning
  • Risk evaluation
  • Managing cyber security awareness training

Data Protection Officer

GDPR mandates that companies that monitor and process large data sets on a regular basis have Data Protection Officer. A DPO makes sure that your business data protection complies with the regulations and meets security needs. These people need to have extensive knowledge of data protection and the regulations governing it.

Read more about DPO role and responsibilities here.

Network Security Engineer

Network Security Engineer works with corporate networks. The key goal is to defend them from data breaches, or other types of cyberattacks. Their responsibilities include:

  • Correct setting of network security
  • Pen-testing
  • Creating and incorporating the cyber threats detection methods
  • Making sure network security policies are implemented
  • Setting up security tools and regulating their proper performance

Some companies require that Network Security Engineers understood cloud security.

IT Security Administrator

IT security roles and responsibilities.

An IT security admin is in charge of the corporate data’s protection. Their responsibilities are:

  • Access management
  • Securing data migration
  • Set up and maintenance of security tools
  • Control of abnormal data behavior
  • Making sure that the environment configurations comply with security policies
  • Searching for potential risks and vulnerabilities in the environment
  • Creating reports on security events
  • Finding security automation tools

Admins play an important role in the overall security posture of a company. They are expected to understand the security architecture and be aware of all the changes that take place in it.

Security Analyst

Security Analysts have to analyze and outline the potential risks to prevent cyberattacks and insider threats. They have the following responsibilities:

  • Analysis of corporate IT environment and identifying the necessary configurations for them
  • DLP analysis and policy formation
  • Vulnerability search and remediation
  • Abnormal data behavior detection
  • Making sure that company information is secure, available, and confidential

One of the possible requirements is the knowledge of white hat hacking.

Security Architect

A security architect develops a secure-by-design system. It’s a senior-level role that requires profound knowledge in many areas of corporate security, including network and hardware. The responsibilities include

  • Analyzing the security architecture
  • Searching for security gaps
  • Organizing the transformation of IT infrastructure to match the security needs
  • Making sure that the IT environment remain integrity
  • Introducing the practices for insider threat control
  • Purchasing new tech stack
  • Disaster recovery procedures
  • Analysis of cyber events and generating an incident response plan
  • Cost analysis of security tools

These responsibilities vary depending on the company, industry, and other factors. For example, some businesses demand that Security Architects took care of corporate compliance (e.g., HIPAA or NIST).

Read more about compliance in cloud systems.


Security Specialist

Security Specialists must keep corporate data secured from loss or leak by ensuring that the IT environment and processes are properly configured and up-to-date. There are many subtypes of security specialists. It helps them better focus on different areas of corporate security, e.g., cloud, databases, or devices.

However, in SMB companies, these professionals have to be jack-of-all-trades and perform multiple cybersecurity responsibilities at once. You will be expected to have robust IT knowledge and advanced skills. You will also be expected to know both software and hardware.

Securing Remote Work

With the constantly changing cybersecurity landscape, the responsibilities of different IT security professionals will transform. For example, the pandemic has increased the number of remote workers, and many people aren’t ready to return to their offices. Now, IT specialists have to ensure that remote workers comply with security requirements.

Read More About The Best Security Practices of Remote Work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the roles and responsibilities of IT security specialists?

IT Security is a crucial field that ensures the safety and integrity of computer systems. An IT Security specialist has several key responsibilities:

  1. Implementing Security Measures: They design and put in place protective barriers, such as firewalls and encryption, to block unauthorized access to the system.
  2. Monitoring and Detection: They actively monitor the system for signs of suspicious activity, identifying potential threats like malware or unauthorized access, and taking necessary action to neutralize them.
  3. Assessment and Auditing: Regular assessments are carried out to evaluate the existing security measures, and audits are performed to ensure compliance with legal and industry standards. This helps in maintaining an up-to-date, robust security framework that can adapt to evolving cyber threats.
What are the different kinds of IT security?

IT security is a complex field with several different areas, each focused on protecting various aspects of a computer system. Here’s a look at the five main types:

  1. Network Security: This is like a digital guard at the gate of your computer’s network, keeping out unauthorized or harmful users. It helps in securing the entire infrastructure by preventing breaches.
  2. Internet Security: This type specifically targets the protection of transactions and interactions that occur over the Internet. It involves things like keeping your online shopping or banking secure and ensuring that your personal information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
  3. Endpoint Security: Think of this as bodyguards for each device (like computers, smartphones) that connects to the network. Endpoint security makes sure that these devices meet certain safety standards before they can access the network, thus keeping potential threats away.
  4. Cloud Security: As more data is stored in virtual ‘clouds’ rather than physical devices, cloud security is designed to protect this online data.
  5. Application Security: This focuses on keeping software applications secure by finding and fixing weaknesses or flaws that might allow hackers to sneak in.
What does an IT security specialist earn in the US?

On average, an IT Security Specialist in the United States can expect to make around $109,686 per year as a base salary (as of 2023). However, when you factor in additional compensation and benefits, the total pay might reach up to $133,431 per year.