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Cyber Security Engineer Roles and Responsibilities

Posted on 
November 2, 2021
|
by 
Team Interview Kickstart

The front-end and back-end systems at FAANG companies store large volumes of sensitive and confidential data. Cyber Security engineers are responsible for ensuring all the systems and processes run smoothly and securely. 

Their primary role is to make sure that all systems are protected. Back-end security systems engineers assess risk regularly and test systems to ensure they run smoothly. It is the cyber security engineer’s job to implement security measures in a timely manner.

If you want to kickstart your cyber security engineering career at a top tech company, you need to be prepared. Check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! 

Having trained over 9,000 software engineers, software developers, and engineering managers, we know what it takes to crack the toughest tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have been landing lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $933,000!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

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Understanding cyber security engineer roles and responsibilities will help you better prepare for the interview and the job. In this article, we cover:

  • What Do Cyber Security Engineers Do?
  • Cyber Security Engineer Levels at FAANG Companies
  • Cyber Security Engineer Job Responsibilities
  • FAANG Cyber Security Engineer Job Qualifications and Skills
  • Average Salary of a Cyber Security Engineer
  • Cyber Security Engineer Career Path
  • Cyber Security Engineer FAQs 

What Do Cyber Security Engineers Do?

Cyber Security software engineers at FAANG companies ensure the protection of large volumes of sensitive user data. Back-End Cyber Security engineers assess risk regularly and test systems to ensure they run smoothly. 

A cyber security engineer is responsible for:

  • Protecting the systems and networks of an organization against potential threats from cyberspace adversaries. 
  • Performing assessments and conducting regular penetration testing. 
  • Developing and implementing secure network solutions. 
  • Architecting and engineering trustworthy, reliable, and secure systems. 
  • Managing audits, intrusion, and security technology systems.
  • Identifying unauthorized access and offering corrective solutions.
  • Collaborating and coordinating with other teams to establish security protocols across the organization.

Cyber Security Engineer Levels at FAANG Companies

The role of cyber security engineers within an organization depends on the job level. Typically, there are three levels: 

  1. Entry-Level Cyber Security Engineers: Engineers who are just starting in the field. You may need little or no work experience in cyber security for this level.
  2. Junior Cyber Security Engineers: Engineers with some experience working with cyber security.
  3. Senior Cyber Security Engineers: Engineers with considerable experience working with cyber security.

Cyber Security Engineer Levels at Top Tech Companies

Every company levels differently. HereResearching we’ve covered the levels at some of the top tech companies.

Cyber Security Engineer Levels at Facebook

  • E3
  • E4
  • E5
  • E6
  • E7
  • E8

Cyber Security Engineer Levels at Amazon:

  • SDE I (L4)
  • SDE II (L5)
  • SDE III (Senior SDE)
  • Principal SDE (L7)
  • Senior Principal SDE (L8)
  • Distinguished Engineer (L10)

Cyber Security Engineer Levels at Apple

  • ICT2
  • ICT3
  • ICT4
  • ICT5
  • ICT6

Cyber Security Engineer Levels  at Google

  • Cyber Security Engineer II (L3)
  • Cyber Security Engineer III (L4)
  • Senior Cyber Security Engineer (L5)
  • Staff Cyber Security Engineer (L6)
  • Senior Staff Cyber Security Engineer (L7)
  • Principal Cyber Security Engineer (L8)
  • Distinguished Cyber Security Engineer (L9)
  • Google Fellow (L10)
  • Senior Google Fellow (L11)

Cyber Security Engineer Levels at Microsoft

  • SDE (59), 60 
  • SDE II (61), 62
  • Senior SDE (63), 64
  • Principal SDE (65), 66, 67
  • Partner (68), 69, 70 (Distinguished Engineer)
  • 80 (Technical Fellow)

Types of Cyber Security Engineers

Cyber security systems engineer roles and responsibilities vary according to the area of security and team/project. Some types of cyber security engineers are: 

  • IT security engineer
  • Network Security Engineer
  • Information Security Engineer
  • Information Assurance Engineer
  • Information Systems Security Engineer

Cyber Security Engineer Job Responsibilities

Front-end cyber security engineers ensure the protection of large volumes of sensitive user data. Back-end cyber security engineers assess risk regularly and test systems to ensure they run smoothly. 

The responsibilities of a cyber security engineer are:

  • Performing technical security assessments, design reviews, and code audits
  • Developing solutions to help neutralize security vulnerabilities
  • Conducting research to identify attack vectors against the company
  • Developing systems to prevent infrastructure and data security risks
  • Analyzing and improving scalability, efficiency, and stability of systems
  • Undertaking offensive security exercises
  • Coding using various coding languages and conducting code reviews
  • Identifying security requirements for assigned products, codebases, or systems
  • Interfacing with other teams; incorporating innovations
  • Advocating security and secure practices

If you want to prepare for the role of a cyber security engineer but don’t know where to start, talk to our tech interview prep experts at Interview Kickstart today! 

Register here for our FREE Webinar.

FAANG Cyber Security Engineer Job Qualifications and Skills 

Educational qualifications and work experience recruiters at FAANG and other Tier-1 tech companies look for when hiring cyber security engineers:

  • B.S. in Computer Science or a related field; or equivalent work experience
  • Experience designing and implementing back-end security-enhancing features
  • Experience building large-scale distributed systems
  • 4+ years of software development experience
  • Technical depth in at least one of the following areas: Authentication, authorization, applied cryptography, critical management systems, and public key infrastructure

Skills Required to Become a Cyber Security Engineer 

Here are some of the skills you’ll need to become a cyber security engineer:

  • Foundational Coding: C++, Python, PHP/Hack, Golang, and Java
  • Data Science
  • Data Structures
  • System Design and Software Architecture
  • Web Application and Browser Security
  • Network Protocols
  • Security Protocols
  • Security Assessment
  • Penetration Testing
  • Authentication and Access Control
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Incident Response and Forensics
  • Binary Analysis
  • Project Management
  • Team Management
  • Leadership

Average Salary of a Cyber Security Engineer

According to Payscale:

  • The average base salary for a cyber security engineer ranges from $67,000 to $139,000 per year. This is a fixed component paid out irrespective of performance.
  • The average bonus offered is $1,000 to $6,000 per annum. This varies for engineers within the same salary band. 
  • Profit-sharing or stock grants allotted to cyber security engineers lie in the range of $995 to $10,000. 
  • The average cyber security engineer salary in the United States is $66,000 to $143,000 per year.

Want to learn how to negotiate a higher salary package? Experts and ex-recruiters from FAANG+ companies at Interview Kickstart will teach you how to leverage your skills to enhance your negotiating power. 

Sign up for Interview Kickstart’s FREE webinar to learn more!

To help you understand how salaries differ based on roles and levels, here’s a breakdown of cyber security engineer salaries based on seniority at Google in the US.

Cyber Security Engineer Career Path

Cyber Security engineering career paths are determined based on projects and work experience requirements. The role of a Cyber Security engineer has evolved over the years and continues to evolve to meet new threats and with new developments in technology. Cyber Security engineers come from different backgrounds.

At FAANG+ companies, a Cyber Security engineer’s career progression may follow this path: 

Cyber Security Engineer I → Cyber Security Engineer II → Senior Cyber Security Engineer → Staff Cyber Security Engineer → Senior Staff Cyber Security Engineer → Principal Cyber Security Engineer

If you’re starting as a cyber security engineer, you can follow one of these career paths:

  • Security Analyst
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Architect
  • Security Administrator
  • Cryptographer
  • Cyber Security Consultant

Cyber Security Engineer FAQs

Q. What does a cyber security engineer do?

A. Cyber Security Engineers are at the helm of security initiatives and processes. They are responsible for ensuring all of the front-end and back-end products and services are safe to use and protected against potential security breaches.

Q. What is the starting cyber security engineer salary at Google?

A. The starting cyber security engineer salary at Google is $190,000 per year plus bonus, stocks, perks, and benefits. The average senior cyber security engineer salary at Google is $350,000.

Q. What are the basic educational qualifications required to become a cyber security engineer?

A. You need a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field or equivalent work experience, and at least 3-4 years of experience to become a Cyber Security engineer in a FAANG company.

How to Crack a Cyber Security Engineer Interview

A typical cyber security engineer interview at FAANG+ companies follows this process:

Nailing a Cyber Security engineer interview at a FAANG company will require specific skills to ace coding interviews and behavioral interviews. 

If you need help with your prep, consider joining Interview Kickstart’s Cyber Security Engineering Interview Masterclassa first-of-its-kind, domain-specific tech interview prep program designed specifically for Cyber Security engineers. 

IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview!

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