What is Security Design?

Security by design is its other name. It refers to the techniques and methods that position those hardware and software elements to facilitate security. Items like handshaking and authentication can be parts of network security design.

Handshaking is the automated process for negotiation of setting up a communication channel between entities. Handshaking occurs before the transfer of data or any other communication and just after the establishment of the physical channel between the two entities.

Authentication begins when a user tries to access information. First, the user must prove his access rights and identity. When logging into a computer, users commonly enter usernames and passwords for authentication purposes.

What is Security Architecture?

Security architecture is the set of resources and components of a security system that allow it to function. Talking about security architecture means talking about how a security system is set up, and how all of its individual parts work, both individually and as a whole. It deals with the when, how and where of security control application, and addresses the potential risks involved for an organization in certain scenarios or environments.

The term architecture is somewhat ambiguous and can mean different things to different people. Within an IT context, consider architecture as the implementation of the technology.

A security architect, also known as information security architect, is an individual who is responsible for maintaining the security of a company’s computer system. They must anticipate all of the moves and tactics that hackers will use to gain unauthorized access to the computer system.

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Security Architect

Most security professionals will begin their career with a bachelor’s degree. The preferred degree is in computer science, information technology or cyber security. However, to rise to the level of security architect, you likely need a master’s degree in cyber security or computer science with a security focus. Studies show that computer science is the most common degree.

The computer science major should provide courses in computer theory, computing problems and solutions, and the design of computer systems and user interfaces from a scientific perspective. This includes instruction in the principles of computational science, computer development, and programming.

You want to learn about local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), virtual private networks (VPNs), routers, firewalls, and related network devices. You need to know about the installation of a firewall, VPN (virtual private network), routers, scanning technologies, and servers.

Upon graduation, you should look into some of the certifications needed to enhance your knowledge and credentials. A CompTIA Security+ certification applies to this field. The certification covers both practical and theoretical applications in a wide range of security topics such as network attacks and countermeasures, risk management, application security, operational security, and compliance.

Security Design

The role of a security designer is to make systems as free of vulnerabilities and impervious to attack as possible. Measures as continuous testing, authentication safeguards and adherence to best programming practices accomplish these objectives.

By reviewing job postings in the IT security field, the name Security Designer is a rarity. For example, a job posting on Glassdoor seeks a Security Engineer to develop, implement, and monitor the information security architectures. This job also requires the person to review firewall policy rules and to perform security risk assessments.

The preferred degrees, for jobs matching the above-stated duties, are computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, information assurance, information systems, and cybersecurity.

You may choose to advance your education with a Master of Science in Cybersecurity. Programs like this benefit students with backgrounds in computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, telecommunications engineering or other related technical fields. The curriculum involves core courses designed to build theoretical foundations in computer networking, mathematics, policy, ethics, privacy, and legal issues along with electives in specialized technical areas.

Some employers will require candidates to hold an advanced degree such as a master’s degree in cybersecurity. Prospective employers may offer tuition assistance to meet this goal. A master’s degree takes an additional one to two years to complete after the bachelor’s degree. The additional schooling provides advanced instruction in protecting computer networks and electronic infrastructures from attack.


Judging from the description of each title in the preceding paragraphs, there are differences in functions. A review of job postings for security architects reveals a menu of names. Many have the same duties/responsibilities. Some of the architect titles are Information Security Architect, Cyber Security Architect, Network Security Architect, and more. To reiterate, the title of security designer is almost extinct. Moreover, the differences seem subtle. The degree choices run parallel, which is to your advantage. This gives you the freedom to choose from a variety of degrees for either profession.

Additional Resources

What Occupations are there with a Degree in Information Systems Security?

What should you know when you interview for a Job with a Degree in Information Security?

How can I use my Cybersecurity or Network Security Degree in Finance?

What are the Benefits of a Degree in Network Security?

What should you know about Work with a Degree in Information Security?