How to become a Security Architect in Singapore

By Robert Half on 1 July 2022
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

Across the globe, cyber security is a key threat facing the business community, so it’s not surprising that roles in cyber security are described as one of the most in-demand tech jobs in Singapore in 2022.

In early 2022, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security – Teo Chee Hean, outlined plans for an updated national cybersecurity strategy for Singapore.

SM Hean noted that digitisation presents opportunities but also threats and risks. In 2021 for example, Singapore observed a 73% increase in reported data breaches and ransomware incidents, compared to the year before. Cybercrime now accounts for almost half of all crime in Singapore today.

This is driving significant demand for cyber security experts across Singapore. As a leading recruitment firm, Robert Half is seeing a growing number of IT professionals ask, “How do I become a Security Architect in Singapore?”. We explain what’s involved and the skills and qualifications required.

What does a Security Architect do?

A Security Architect is responsible for designing, building, testing and implementing security systems within an organisation’s IT network. This calls for a Security Architect to have a thorough understanding of complex IT systems and the latest security standards, systems and authentication protocols, as well as best-practice security products. The security architect’s ultimate goal is to keep an organization safe from all digital threats. This involves several responsibilities, including:

  1. Design and implementation: Security architects are tasked with putting the best possible security measures in place by:
    • Devising an overarching security strategy
    • Designing an infrastructure that keeps data safe without slowing down performance
    • Making investment decisions where new software or hardware is required
    • Overseeing the implementation of all security measures
    • Managing iterative improvement projects
    • Building new security infrastructure from scratch (if needed)
  2. Testing: Digital threats are continually evolving, so security architects oversee a regular security testing strategy. That includes conducting penetration testing, analyzing traffic and checking the performance of security systems.
  3. Planning. Security architects are always thinking about next steps and future requirements. Sometimes, this planning is driven by external factors, such as new cybersecurity threats. Often, the security architect works with other teams to help deliver strategic goals, like moving to cloud platforms or building mobile applications.
  4. Threat analysis: These professionals monitor and analyze all attempts to breach security, whether those attempts were successful or not. They use this information to improve the approach to security and prevent future attacks. Architects also have to keep abreast of cybersecurity news and monitor known threats in the wild.
  5. Leadership: This is a management-level role, so security architects do have supervisory responsibilities. They may hire and fire people for their security team and will certainly play a role in high-level decision making in the IT department. Architects also require strong change management skills to ensure the smooth adoption of new security measures and promote a security-first organizational culture.
  6. Compliance: IT security professionals are typically required to work within the confines of complex laws. There are regional regulations — like the European Union’s GDPR legislation — as well as industry-specific regulations, HIPAA, for example, in the medical field. Security architects must have a precise understanding of these laws and ensure that all security measures are fully compliant.

Related: The Security Architect role is an engaging one, and as a senior position it tends to be well rewarded. To discover more, take a look at our 2022 Singapore Salary Guide | Robert Half®.

What skills and qualifications does a security architect need?

Qualifications and certifications

Security architect is a multidisciplinary IT role that requires expert knowledge of hardware, networking, databases, security software (such as anti-virus systems), software architecture and some programming. Most employers will ask for a minimum of five years’ experience working in a professional IT security role.

To become a Security Architect in Singapore, a degree in Information Technology, Computer Science or a related field is regarded as desirable.

A few of the many designations available for security architects are:

  • CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
  • CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
  • CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)

Technical skills

In terms of professional experience, a Security Architect is expected to have a strong understanding of information security and/or IT risk management coupled with experience in security protocols, cryptography, authentication, authorisation and security.

Ongoing awareness of current and emerging IT risks, and experience implementing effective security solutions, is highly desirable.

Soft skills

Security Architects play a vital role as a conduit between technical and corporate priorities, whilst managing critical or urgent situations. This calls on a variety of soft skills, including:

  • Communication and collaboration
  • Time management and organization
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Leadership

How to become a Security Architect in Singapore

Security Architects in Singapore are in high demand. It is estimated that in 2021, over 3,400 cybersecurity professionals were required by industry. However, there’s no shortcut to the role of security architect. You need to work your way up the ladder and prove that you have a track record of outstanding performance in security roles:

  • Entry-level: Look into computer technician or network admin positions. Work your way up to a security role, like network security administrator or penetration tester, to gain some experience in the discipline. You should also look into relevant certifications such as ISO 27001/27002, ITIL, and COBIT frameworks, so your resume stands out.
  • Career Changer: If you have an IT background and want to pivot to security, the best path is to find ways to apply security principles to your current role. For example, if you’re a software developer, try to focus on software security and building resilient applications.
  • Mid-Level: If you’re a mid-career IT professional who’s struggling to find opportunities at the architect level, you might consider moving into security consultancy. Combine that expertise with relevant certifications, and you’ll find yourself in an excellent position to land a senior security role.

For tailored information on how to become a Security Architect in Singapore, it’s worth speaking to Robert Half’s team of recruitment experts. Or, if you’re ready to begin the job search, here’s how to find the right job for you.

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