Security Engineer/Senior Security Engineer

Cybersecurity and Networking Division

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) advances discovery and innovation through extreme-scale computing, science-enabling software, and the skills of our expert staff. The center is part of the flagship University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement—and is located in a micro-urban community that combines cultural vibrancy with affordability and quality of life.

For more than 30 years, NCSA has partnered with visionaries to discover solutions to grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. Our advanced digital resources and world-class staff push research beyond the unimaginable. Can you imagine? We can.

The NCSA network and systems evolve continually, incorporating innovative technologies that enhance the Center's ability to further research in many domains. As an Security Engineer / Senior Security Engineer, you will keep apprised of these changes and adapt the cybersecurity infrastructure and capabilities to ensure NCSA remains compliant with policy and is protected from the many threats that modern connected systems and networks face. This position leverages knowledge of cybersecurity concepts, Linux system administration, network architecture, analytics, and creative troubleshooting. Performing in a team, the application of these skills results in networks and systems that adhere to policies and risk profiles mandated by the University, project offices, stakeholders, and NCSA management.

The candidate interacts with people in a wide range of educational, scientific, and engineering disciplines to design, develop, and support advanced cybersecurity infrastructure in areas such as multi-messenger astronomy, healthcare innovation, industry applications, and computational science. Creativity, independence, a strong work ethic, as well as coordination with the project leaders will be critical. You will have an opportunity to represent NCSA while giving research presentations at conferences and writing contributing to publications and grant proposals.

NCSA is committed to increasing the diversity of the campus community. Candidates who have experience working with a diverse range of faculty, staff, and students, and who can contribute to the climate of inclusivity are encouraged to apply.

Key responsibilities

Security Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Research
    • Gather and analyze statistical and categorical data from cybersecurity tools, system logs, and network traffic. Use this data to research and develop lines of inquiry utilized in defense of cybersecurity threats and incidents.
    • Apply scientific domain knowledge to implement and maintain the security and monitoring infrastructure in support of technical and scientific research projects.
    • Collaborate with researchers to analyze existing cybersecurity solutions. Using data collected from this process, design and implement novel security solutions and provide cybersecurity-related consulting to academic- and industry-funded research projects.
    • Contribute to the development of projects that enhance the security stance of NCSA in support of research and education, and help develop strategy for future direction of team.
  • Research Engagement and Outreach
    • Develop, research and write cybersecurity architecture as coauthor of grant proposals.
    • Research and develop secure cyberinfrastructure architectures in support of NCSA's and its partner’s research.
    • Publish novel cybersecurity tools and code as opensource to be used by academia and national labs.
    • Present research at cybersecurity and other technical professional conferences and workshops.
    • Continually advance skills and knowledge regarding NCSA duties by researching online, with periodicals or by means of attending lectures or conferences. Forecast future trends in cybersecurity and apply findings to new solutions.
    • Provide on-call and off-hours support as assigned; job duties may require working schedules that are outside of normal business hours.
    • Assist with drafting incident reports for public and internal consumption, cooperate with law enforcement and legal as needed.
    • Respond to or assign security alerts and tickets as appropriate.
    • Make recommendations for ticket processes.
    • Provide training, guidance, and assistance related to cybersecurity to NCSA staff and partners.
  • Secure NCSA Research Infrastructure
    • Research, suggest and evaluate security requirements and evaluate solutions for NCSA and collaborator systems.
    • Make technical recommendations regarding NCSA's cybersecurity policies, practices, system development, architecture and posture.
    • Detect and investigate digital intrusions and other incidents with cybercomponents by coordinating with the Senior IRST staff.
    • Ensure the security and integrity of NCSA Incident Response and Security Team (IRST) systems according to NCSA policies and procedures.
Senior Security Engineer

These include the duties of the Security Engineer with the addition of the following:

  • Cybersecurity Research
    • Manage the development of projects that enhance the security stance of NCSA in support of research and education, and help develop strategy for future direction of team.
  • Research Engagement and Outreach
    • Draft incident reports for public and internal consumption, cooperate with law enforcement and legal as needed.
    • Establish procedures regarding ticket creation and handling.
    • Represent NCSA in the national security and HPC communities and liaise with other incident response teams.
    • May supervise students or interns.
  • Secure NCSA Research Infrastructure
    • Lead NCSA Incident Response and Security Team (IRST) relationships with academic- and industry-funded research projects to monitor project compliance with Campus and NCSA security policies.
    • Detect and investigate digital intrusions and other incidents with cybercomponents by coordinating with IRST staff, research project staff and NCSA management.

Required education and experience

Security Engineer
  • BA/BS degree in computer science, electrical engineering, or related field required. Alternative degree fields may be accepted if accompanied by an equivalent amount of experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to current NCSA business needs).
  • 1 year of professional/intern/volunteer or classroom experience installing, configuring, and administering UNIX-like servers.
  • 1 year of professional/intern/volunteer or classroom experience using shell programming and/or a scripting language.
  • 1 year of professional/intern/volunteer or classroom experience with at least one of these:
    • Network trace analysis (e.g. pcap).
    • System log analysis (e.g. syslog).
    • Network or system firewall management.
  • 6 months of experience researching, presenting, and/or publishing technical projects or papers in a professional or academic setting.
Senior Security Engineer
  • BA/BS degree in computer science, electrical engineering, or related field required. Alternative degree fields may be accepted if accompanied by an equivalent amount of experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to current NCSA business needs).
  • 3 years of professional/intern/volunteer or classroom experience installing, configuring, and administering UNIX-like servers.
  • 3 years of professional/intern/volunteer or classroom experience using shell programming and/or a scripting language.
  • 3 years of professional/intern/volunteer or classroom experience with at least one of these:
    • Network trace analysis (e.g. pcap).
    • System log analysis (e.g. syslog).
    • Network or system firewall management.
  • 1 year's experience researching, presenting, and/or publishing technical projects or papers in a professional or academic setting; publishing cybersecurity tools; and/or authoring or coauthoring cyber infrastructure plans to grant proposals.

Preferred experience

Security Engineer
  • Experience working in a high-performance data center.
  • Network administration or configuration experience.
  • Security certifications from SANS or similar organizations.
  • Using or deploying intrusion detection technologies, in particular, the Bro/Zeek IDS.
  • Giving presentations to a technical audience, in particular, security training and education.
  • Part of an incident response team or performing digital forensics.
Senior Security Engineer
  • Work in a high-performance data center.
  • Network administration or configuration experience.
  • Security certifications from SANS or similar organizations.
  • Using or deploying intrusion detection technologies, in particular, the Bro/Zeek IDS.
  • Giving presentations to a technical audience, in particular, security training and education.
  • Part of an incident response team or performing digital forensics.

This is a regular academic professional position at NCSA and is an annually renewable, 12/12, 100%-time appointment with regular University benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience and start date will be as soon as possible after the close date of the search. Applicants must possess required education and experience by start date of position. Interviews and hires may occur before the closing date; however, all applications received by the closing date will receive full consideration. For further information regarding our application procedures, you may email fijalkov(at)illinois.edu.

To apply, please create your candidate profile at jobs.illinois.edu and upload your cover letter and CV/resume by the close date, July 3, 2020. Contact information for three references must be included on the application. For full consideration, candidates must complete the Hiretouch application process by the above date. The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

For further information regarding our application procedures, you may visit www.ncsa.illinois.edu or email NCSA-HR@illinois.edu.