What does a Principal Network Security Engineer do?

Network security engineers are responsible for deploying, configuring, and administering many network and security-related hardware and software pieces. This could include a firewall, router, switch, and various network monitoring tools. They are the company's first line of defense against unauthorized access from outside sources or potential security threats. In addition to knowing how to mitigate potential threats, they strategize how to stay vigilant and prepare before security threats begin.

Network security engineers stress test networks and try to spot potential vulnerabilities. This requires them to work with larger information security teams to evaluate, troubleshoot, and test technologies they identify, diagnose, and resolve information security issues. They ensure proper protocols and processes are in place by creating and maintaining comprehensive documentation related to the company’s server and security infrastructure. Network security engineers also maintain strong relationships with integrators and vendors to maintain upgrades and installations. Network security engineers need a bachelor's degree in a field including computer science, software engineering, systems engineering or related fields.

What responsibilities are common for Principal Network Security Engineer jobs?
  • Creation of network security policies, processes, auditing, and enforcement.
  • Keep abreast of changes and new developments in products and technology.
  • Network firewall and IDS/IPS systems evaluation, design, implementation, and support.
  • Provide advanced expertise in the development of network test, validation, and integration plans on projects, and assurance of network integrity.
  • Routinely research, analyze, test, retest, and troubleshoot complex problems.
  • Design, test, and integrate new security products as directed by supervisors.
  • Responsible for operational excellence of information security systems.
  • Ensure solutions are delivered in adherence of defined standards and policy.
  • Effectively communicate engineering solutions through detailed high and low level diagrams.
  • Participate in knowledge transfer, documentation and information sharing while staying abreast of new technology/technical areas.
  • Coordinate, prioritize, and report on key activities, projects and metrics in a timely manner.
  • Communicate with co-workers, management, and customers, which may involve delivering presentations.
  • Coordinate with the team and vendors as it relates to the security infrastructure.
  • Oversee patching, hardening and baselining activities across networks. ensures other stakeholders are in compliance with established patching/hardening policies.
  • Adhere to change controls, leads root-cause analysis, and focuses on continuous improvement for production and non-production environments.
  • Assist with supporting technical documentation for the server infrastructure.
What are the typical qualifications for Principal Network Security Engineer jobs?
  • Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in computer science, engineering, information systems or information technology, or equivalent experience.
  • Experience with VPN, Linux, Cloud, CCNP, GCIH, IPSEC, and SSL software and systems.
  • Experience with GIAC, NIC Cards, DOD, OSPF, and Python software and systems.
  • Fluent in enterprise resource planning operating systems, and incident response.
  • Demonstrated leadership and problem solving skills.
  • Comfortable running writing protocols and scripting.
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.8 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Principal Network Security Engineer make?

$141,566 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Principal Network Security Engineer Career Path

Learn how to become a Principal Network Security Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Senior Manager of Network Security Engineering

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training
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Principal Network Security Engineer Insights

Read what Principal Network Security Engineer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Senior Network Security Engineer
Aug 19, 2021

“No salary increment time but if you have a good performer then definitely it will increment.”

NetSentries TechnologiesNetSentries Technologies
DevSecOps Lead
Sep 18, 2021

“Very knowledgeable and supportive team helps you improve and advance in your career.”

Check Point Software TechnologiesCheck Point Software Technologies
Network Security Engineer
Jul 15, 2022

“The people at Check Point are some of the best I have ever met and consider them part of my extended family!”

M.C. Dean, Inc.M.C. Dean, Inc.
Network Security Engineer
Jun 16, 2022

“I was just a subcontractor but my career grew a lot working on the contract.”

Network Security Engineer
Jun 12, 2020

“Good work and life balance.”

Senior Network Security Engineer
Jun 17, 2022

“Nice place to work and explore your knowledge.”

Silverlink TechnologiesSilverlink Technologies
Network Security Engineer
Jul 6, 2021

“run business and good pay.”

IMSI (India)IMSI (India)
Network Security
Apr 28, 2022

“Good for biggenrs as starting career”

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Principal Network Security Engineer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Principal Network Security Engineer

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Principal Network Security Engineer Jobs