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Information security refers to the methods and techniques in place to protect data (both print and electronic) from unauthorised access. Cyber security is a subset of this, as it refers to protecting programs, devices, and networks from attacks and unauthorised access.
Network security is yet a smaller subset, which concerns protecting the integrity of networks and programs from unauthorised access and hacking.
Security engineers may work on different aspects of cyber security or specialise in one particular domain. Sometimes, the different terms are used interchangeably, or information security engineer is used as a catch-all term.
In more detail
Generally, security engineers are in charge of protecting data and keeping it safe from cyber-attacks. This means implementing different security techniques and technologies. The data can include client records, trade secrets, and financial records, but also information about the company workers.
It is important to stay up to date on emerging technologies and security measures, but also attack techniques. Understanding how cyber-criminals may infiltrate systems helps in figuring out how to prevent such attacks.
Some security engineers even specialise in penetration testing (also known as pen-testing), which involves actively testing networks and systems for vulnerabilities. Other typical tasks of security engineers include developing security policies and best practices, monitoring security breaches, and investigating any attacks that occur.
Security engineering is a very important role that affects many businesses, both public and private, from hackers trying to infiltrate databases and systems.
In order to work as a security engineer, it is important to be knowledgeable about different cyber security trends. It is important to have a degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or a related field, and some initial experience in information security is preferred.
Security engineers are generally proficient in multiple programming languages, such as Java, Python, and .NET, and may hold certifications for various security technologies. Some examples of these include CISSP certification and CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate).
Good communications are a plus, as it is sometimes necessary to translate IT terms to non-tech people.