Common IT Security Roles and Responsibilities Explained

Learn about the common IT security roles and responsibilities. IT security is one of the most fast-paced industries in the world. An estimation shows that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. There is clearly a demand for skilled security professionals.

So let’s take a look at some of the most common IT security roles and what it takes to fit into them.

IT Security Roles and Responsibilities

Here are some of the vital IT security roles and the responsibilities associated with them. Don’t be surprised that sometimes, different roles share some responsibilities. After all, cybersecurity requires a complex approach from professionals working in this field.  

Application Security Engineer

The job of an app security engineer has two major aspects. Firstly, you will need to help developers to create more secure apps. Secondly, you’ll need to control third-party apps used by your company and ensure their safety. Some of the typical responsibilities and tasks include: 

  • Configuring technical security controls
  • Conducting an app risk assessment 
  • Whitelisting/blacklisting apps
  • Performing penetration testing

For app security engineers, it’s vital to control SaaS apps and the risks related to them. Risky and insecure apps should be blacklisted. To automate your job and remain time-efficient, you’ll probably need specialized software that helps you with app security assessment and whitelisting/blacklisting. Here is how our solution helps with these tasks:


A CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) is a C-level employee whose task is to oversee corporate security strategy. The typical CISO’s responsibilities include: 

  • Planning long-term security strategy
  • Planning and implementing data loss prevention measures
  • Managing access 
  • Ensuring that the company implements proper safeguards to meet compliance requirements
  • Investigating any incidents and preventing them in the future
  • Assessing security risk 
  • Arranging security awareness training

Data Protection Officer

Having a DPO is one of the GDPR compliance requirements. A DPO must be appointed in organizations working with large-scale systematic monitoring or processing of sensitive data. Officers oversee corporate data protection measures and their effectiveness. 

A specialist, appointed to the DPO role, controls whether corporate security is of a sufficient level to meet compliance requirements, and recommends security upgrades if needed. That’s why an in-depth understanding of data security and compliance are essential skills. You can read more about the role of DPO here.

Read more about DPO role and responsibilities here.

Network Security Engineer

As the name suggests, a network security engineer’s job is to protect corporate networks from data breaches, human error, or cyberattacks. Engineers are responsible for:

  • Configuring network security settings
  • Performing penetration testing
  • Developing and implementing sufficient measures to detect cyber threats
  • Implementing network security policies
  • Installing and maintaining security software like firewalls or backups

Also, a deep understanding of cloud security may be required.

IT Security Administrator

IT security roles and responsibilities.

An IT security admin is a role that includes a wide range of skills and responsibilities to manage the protection of the company’s data. Some of the most common admin’s responsibilities include:

  • Managing access 
  • Ensuring that data migration is secure
  • Configuring security software 
  • Monitoring data behavior for abnormal activities
  • Implementing security policies
  • Testing company’s systems to locate potential risks and vulnerabilities
  • Reporting security statuses and incidents (if any)
  • Using software tools to automate some of the tasks

An admin’s role is more significant than it may seem at first glance. An admin has to keep the whole organization’s security landscape in mind and ensure that even the tiniest processes are executed correctly. After all, even one careless click may be enough to initiate a cyberattack. 

Security Analyst

What is the role of an information security analyst? This role is related to protecting corporate information against cyberattacks and insider threats. Generally, an analyst has to determine potential risks and vulnerabilities inside the system, so a deep understanding of data security threats and ways to prevent them is a must. As a security analyst, your responsibilities will include:

  • Analyzing and configuring corporate systems to improve their security
  • Analyzing data loss prevention measures
  • Looking for system vulnerabilities and ways to fix them
  • Monitoring data behavior for abnormal activities
  • Verifying security, availability, and confidentiality of corporate data

Also, the security analyst’s role requires an understanding of white hat hacking to design more advanced protection against cyberattacks. Analysts often work together with security architects.

Security Architect 

A security architect is one of the senior-level IT security positions. An architect is focused on creating a secure-by-design environment. Unsurprisingly, this position requires a solid understanding of network, app, and hardware security, as well as experience with various systems. Generally, an architect’s responsibilities include:

  • Assessing the system’s security controls and processes to find potential security gaps
  • Planning changes and upgrades for corporate IT infrastructure
  • Maintaining system integrity 
  • Implementing insider threat control measures   
  • Choosing new security software if needed
  • Implementing disaster recovery measures 
  • Analyzing previous incidents and creating an incident response plan
  • Analyzing the costs and benefits of security solutions

Of course, the exact scope of your tasks as an architect will vary depending on each organization’s unique infrastructure and needs. Often, an architect needs to assess corporate systems for meeting security compliance standards like HIPAA or NIST to decide what changes are needed to become compliant. 

Read more about compliance in the cloud systems.


Security Specialist

An Information Technology Security Specialist is a person responsible for keeping corporate data safe. Security specialists maintain and upgrade systems and procedures to prevent data loss or leakage. IT specialists have many sub-specializations. Depending on a specific environment, an information security specialist will have a stronger focus on cloud, network, app, database, SCADA, or device security. 

In some cases, especially in small businesses, an IT security specialist is an all-rounder with responsibilities combining many cybersecurity roles at the same time. That’s why a security specialist must have strong IT skills and a deep understanding of both software and hardware—and, of course, an ability to locate potential vulnerabilities and fix them.

Protecting Remote Work

Cybersecurity roles and responsibilities are related not just to a fixed skillset, but also to a complex vision of the cybersecurity landscape. Besides, malicious software and cybersecurity tools are evolving constantly and being up-to-date is essential for protecting your company’s data. 

As the coronavirus outbreak spreads throughout the world, many working environments are becoming fully or partially remote. IT security professionals should lead the change and ensure the security of remote work. And that’s how. 

Read More About The Best Security Practices of Remote Work.

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