Lead Security Architect Ref. 2084

Stonewall Diversity ChampionDisability confident leaderThe Guardian UK 300 logo

Cheltenham, Central London
£58,000 to £94,000


The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is offering you an exciting opportunity to join our team of experienced cyber security experts to influence, shape and give advice on the secure design, build and operation of some of the most important computer systems in the UK.

As part of the NCSC team you’ll play a vital role in securing and safeguarding some of the most important systems in the UK and identifying security issues such as vulnerabilities in system designs, clearly explaining issues and finding alternative approaches to inform decision makers.  You’ll work closely with system designers, engineers and industry partners to shape the overall design and influence senior decision makers and policy makers to address systemic or widely held security problems.

Each of our security architects and consultants are responsible for a portfolio of work spanning strategic programmes and/or addressing thematic security challenges. In addition to this work, our experts respond to immediate tactical requirements which may be driven by external factors such as supporting the NCSC response to a significant cyber incident. Working closely with NCSC research teams, industry and academia you’ll provide the best available advice on the security challenges faced by our users today.

It’s challenging varied and meaningful work, and will include working on a range of   projects to deliver on everything from Critical National Infrastructure and military platforms through to ensuring that citizens can access UK Government services online safely. Our security experts are renowned for being a source of independent, authoritative and world-class cyber security advice and you’ll have the opportunity to make a real difference by supporting the delivery of Government Policy, whilst contributing to maintaining our reputation as “a thought leader in cyber security”.

Join us and you’ll have the opportunity to make a real difference to the security of the UK and contribute to maintaining our reputation as a thought leader in cyber security.


This exceptionally demanding role requires a breadth of specialist skills across technology, cyber security and risk management, combined with very strong interpersonal and consultancy skills.  A consummate communicator, you’ll expertly share knowledge and insight, and have the ability to deliver consistent relevant messages to all audiences.

* 5+ years of experience in providing security architecture or other high-end security consultancy across a range of systems and/or services (e.g. digital services, enterprise systems or industrial control systems).

* Assessing and understanding complex technology systems, identifying points of weakness or vulnerability that could lead to losses and providing appropriate mitigating options and advice.

* Deep understanding of common classes of vulnerabilities in technologies, how they occur, how they are exploited and approaches to mitigation.

* Understanding complex technologies, standards or approaches, identifying security issues and finding technical (or other) solutions to them.

* Understanding and application of the fundamental principles of risk management including governance of security, risk assessment and risk management.

* Contribution to the development of common approaches, good practice or standards in security architecture, secure system design/operation or technical security risk/governance.
* Making challenging security decisions and providing expert security advice that balances user needs, cost, security and other relevant factors.

* Communicating security risk, assessing options, and making persuasive arguments to technical and senior leaders.


At GCHQ we’re proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that is designed to encourage open minds and attitudes. As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential. With a keen interest in personal development, and your understanding of technology and security trends, we’re committed to helping you maintain your excellent technical knowledge through comprehensive training and development opportunities.


As part of one of Britain’s intelligence agencies, we unlock the complex world of communications to keep our nation safe. We work closely with MI5 and MI6, our partners in the intelligence community, to safeguard Britain’s people, interests and businesses from various threats. Think cyber-attacks, espionage, terrorism, and organised crime. It’s challenging, varied and meaningful work that you simply won’t find anywhere else.


The UK Intelligence Agencies – MI5 / MI6 / GCHQ – Equal Opportunities employers, committed to reflecting the society we protect. Our recruitment process is fair, transparent and based on merit.  We particularly welcome applications from diverse and under-represented groups.

Total reward package in the region of £58K to £94K (on a pro rata basis), dependant on skills and experience.

Central London & Cheltenham (located within an hour’s journey of Birmingham and Bristol).

To apply for this position, you must meet our nationality, residency and security requirements. You’ll find more details here: Recruitment Process

As users of the disability confident scheme, we also guarantee to interview all disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for our roles.

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes to completing your application. We’re conscious this might be more time than you expected, so our system will allow you to save your application at any time and come back to it later. But remember to submit your full application before the closing date.

Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

- Personal interview*

- Drug test

*Interviews will be held in Gloucester and London.

If you successfully complete these stages, you’ll receive a job offer, conditional upon you completing our developed vetting (DV) process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to perform this vital role.