Senior Information Security Architect

Full Time
Arlington, VA
Areas of Interest: Systems Security Architecture
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Carnegie Mellon University - Software Engineering Institute considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.

Position Summary: The CERT program is seeking a candidate to fill the role of a Senior Information Assurance Architect for the Threat Analysis directorate. The CERT program is part of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a federally funded research and development center at Carnegie Mellon University. The Threat Analysis directorate is an applied research and development group that develops cutting edge approaches for analyzing executable code. Members of the group apply this work to understanding systemic vulnerabilities in software systems, and how attackers adapt their tradecraft to exploit those vulnerabilities. This work is transitioned directly to research, acquisition and operational groups within the US government, and through academic publication and open source release of software. The group includes code analysis researchers, malware reverse engineers, vulnerability analysts, statisticians, and engineers located in both the Pittsburgh, PA and Arlington, VA offices. The Senior Information Security Architect is responsible for engaging with government partners to understand their operational requirements, and to support the transition and integration of SEI-developed technologies into government systems.

Minimum Qualifications and Requirements:

Education/Training:  BS in computer science, software engineering, information systems, or a related technical field with ten (10) years of experience; MS in computer science or technical/engineering field with eight (8) years of experience or equivalent combination of training and experience. PhD in computer science or technical/engineering field with five (5) years of experience or equivalent combination of training and experience Other educational backgrounds of a technical nature with experience as described may be considered.

Experience: 5+ years of experience in technical decision-making, acquisition and management of large-scale enterprise deployments of network security technologies, including experience in a technical leadership role; 5+ years of hands-on technical experience as a systems architect, software developer, systems administrator, operational security analyst, systems integrator or related technical role; 5+ years of work experience in one or more of the following operational areas: incident handling, analysis of cyber threat data, reverse engineering, network traffic analysis, forensics, vulnerability assessment, network auditing, network design, network security engineering; Track record of building and maintaining relationships in a government research setting.

Skills/Abilities: Understanding of Internet fundamentals including protocol, provider operations and governance; Ability to apply knowledge of networks, security technology, systems architecture and security best practice to practical problems in enterprise security; Ability to advise on a broad range of security topics based on self-directed research and the application of the expertise of others; Ability to work independently with limited supervision, lead project teams and mentor peers; Ability to objectively compare, and evaluate alternative technical solutions, and communicate resultsFacility communicating complex system designs, technical approaches and road maps to sponsors, project managers and technical staff; Ability to distill the implications of complex research results, and apply those results to government operations; Knowledge of USG networks, security operations, and policy and governance.

Mobility: Primarily sedentary in an office setting with some mobility.  Requires travel to various domestic locations within the SEI and CMU community to include the SEI Pittsburgh office; sponsor sites; conferences; and offsite meetings with routine frequency (2-3 trips a month).

Environmental Conditions:  Normal office conditions; close contact with computer display for extended periods of time

Mental:  Work meticulously with careful attention to detail; Meet deadlines while working on multiple tasks; Work under pressure and adapt to shifting priorities; Relate collaboratively and diplomatically with people inside and outside the organization (government partners, co-workers, managers, collaborators and senior leadership); Grasp the big picture, direction, and goals of an effort; Develop and communicate innovative ideas; Organize and plan complex projects; Think creatively to solve problems; Recognize and properly handle confidential and sensitive information; Communicate complex ideas verbally and in writing.

Other: Candidates will be subject to a background check and must be eligible to obtain and maintain a Department of Defense security clearance.

Preferred Qualifications and Requirements:

Experience: Track record of building and maintaining relationships in multiple vertical industries in addition to government (e.g., finance, education or healthcare); Experience applying modern data-driven research methods to business strategy, risk analysis and information security decision making; Experience collaborating on industry and academic community projects; Experience applying architecture frameworks (e.g., TOGAF, Zachman, DODAF, FEAF) with special attention to designing for security and resiliency; Experience applying strategic planning methodologies to the information security sector; Experience applying threat analysis approaches to system design; Research and development experience in code analysis, reverse engineering, vulnerability discovery, network traffic analysis, or endpoint security monitoring.

Skills/Abilities: Ability to develop software in Python and other modern programming languages; Background in mathematical programming, statistical modeling or machine learning; Working knowledge of code analysis tools (e.g., IDA Pro, OllyDbg, WinDBG) and run-time environments, penetration testing tools, testing and fuzzing tools and other code analysis tools; Experience with the configuration and operation of anti-virus systems, intrusion detection systems, endpoint security tools, and other security controls.

Accountability: This position is accountable for ensuring that the Threat Analysis technical area delivers on the execution of the statement of work for a specific set of government partners.

Direction: The individual in this position is expected to act independently in accord with CMU, SEI, and NSS, defined policies, practices, and procedures.  Additionally, this position will assist in setting Threat Analysis direction based on an understanding of the needs of government partners.

Decisions: The individual in this position is expected to participate in the decision-making and problem solving process of designing, building and operating systems for network security; suggesting and implementing policies and procedures to support these activities; and creating prototyping implementations of tools and approaches for threat analysis.

Supervisory Responsibilities: This position has no supervisory responsibilities.


Job Functions or Responsibilities:

40%     Act as a lead for one or more engagements. This includes advising government partners on technical issues, understanding their requirements, promoting the directorate’s work, and supporting colleagues in the development and transition of new analysis methods and tools into their operations.

40%     Work with colleagues on research studies and prototypes, and help assemble reports and briefings on various security topics related to our threat research. Topics may include a particular threat, an analysis of a security trend, or the effectiveness of a particular security technology, approach or policy to address a threat.

15%     Contribute to conferences and meetings; participate in marketing/engagement calls and technical exchanges with clients; analyst technical exchanges, training sessions and public speaking engagements; participate on working groups for subjects of interest relative to cyber threat and analysis      

5%       Engage in professional development activities to maintain and grow expertise.



Organizational Chart: Program Director, CERT < Technical Director, Threat Analysis < Vulnerability Analysis Technical Manager < Senior Information Assurance Architect.


Carnegie Mellon University is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer – M/F/Disability/Veteran 

We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.


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Software Engineering Institute

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The SEI works closely with defense and government organizations, industry, and academia to continually improve software-intensive systems. Our core purpose is to help organizations improve their software engineering capabilities and to develop or acquire the right software, defect free, within budget and on time, every time. To accomplish this, the SEI 

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