Information Security Analyst Requirements – Before We Get Into The Topic, let’s Learn Some Basic Of This Topic
Attacks on private data are monitored, prevented, and stopped by security experts. To protect data and network infrastructures, these digital professionals design and implement firewalls and software systems. Security analysts are in growing demand as the globe increasingly relies on technology and digital interfaces to store and transmit information.
Security analysts might work for the government, as freelance consultants, or for private companies. These experts usually have a bachelor’s degree in their industry, however, some firms prefer analysts with master’s degrees.
Information security analysts earn a median annual compensation of $99,730, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is more than double the national median wage for all jobs. This website delves into this burgeoning field, including how to become a security analyst, and frequently asked questions about the field.
What Does a Security Analyst Do?
Security is the primary purpose of security analysts, as the job title suggests. These analysts are tasked with identifying security flaws in networks, patching or responding to issues, and preventing future breaches. To increase and strengthen the security of digital data, security analysts may use a variety of software, including programs designed to encrypt and protect data.
Security analysts may collaborate with teams of the network, information technology (IT), and computer specialists in larger firms and organizations. They frequently collaborate with these other experts to develop security protocols and systems, as well as to safeguard company data from hacking and breaches.
Security analysts play a critical role within these structures, as evidenced by recent data breaches in major corporations. They enable enterprises and organizations to better protect client and user data while preserving their integrity and reputation.
As security analysts advance in their careers, they may take on new responsibilities. Entry-level security analysts, for example, may take on lower-level roles in IT teams, such as assisting users in navigating new systems and installing new software. More experienced analysts may oversee teams of security and IT professionals as they design and implement entire security systems and firewalls.
Key Soft Skills for Security Analysts
- To work through complicated coding and software debugging challenges, security analysts must have good critical thinking abilities.
- Collaboration: Because security analysts frequently operate as part of larger teams of IT professionals, they should have great cooperation and collaboration skills.
- Working in technology necessitates both verbal and written communication abilities. Security analysts must be able to explain their work to people who aren’t familiar with the technology.
- Learning: Because the field of security analysis is constantly changing, it is necessary to be willing to learn new things regularly. Adaptability and the ability to grow with their field are required of security analysts.
Key Hard Skills for Security Analysts
- Networking: Security analysts must be knowledgeable about a wide range of systems and networks. They must have a wide understanding of the numerous parts of network systems, as well as how each element affects security.
- Scripting: Security analysts benefit from a working grasp of computer scripts such as Java or C++. Professionals can use this expertise to decode threats and develop and rewrite software.
- Hacking: To block and prevent cyberattacks, security analysts must understand hacking procedures. Ethical hacking certifications assist analysts in better understanding risks and securing systems.
- Analysts must be able to work on a variety of platforms and operating systems, including iOS, Windows, and Linux.
A Day in the Life of a Security Analyst
Depending on the profession, a security analyst’s average day can be rather different. They could start their day by reviewing reports from the previous day or shift, looking for new risks, and detecting malware that has compromised the system.
Security analysts may also be called upon to anticipate and respond to system breaches or attacks. Responding to hacks or network weaknesses, as well as attempting to prevent new ones, are all part of these processes, which vary according to workplaces and employers. A security analyst might meet and connect with other IT experts at work on a typical day to collaborate on efforts to protect data and network infrastructure.
A few common security analyst roles are listed below:
Security Analyst Main Responsibilities
- Networks are being watched.
Security analysts must be aware of any activity occurring within the networks they are tasked with safeguarding. They must pay attention to incoming code, recognize suspicious behavior, and respond appropriately.
- Software Administration
On the systems and networks they monitor, security analysts install, administer, and update software. They ensure that any software utilized on the network is protected by suitable security measures.
Analysts may generate regular reports on the security of the networks on which they work. These reports frequently detail security issues and the steps taken by the analyst to address them.
- Make security plans.
Companies and businesses can hire security analysts to thoroughly examine their networks and provide recommendations and best practices for employees and users to maintain data security.
To stay current on software, potential threats, and best practices for network security, security analysts typically research new trends and advances in security and information technology.
Security Analyst Salary
Security analysts, like many other types of tech workers, make good money. According to the BLS, even the lowest-paid 10% of information security analysts made $57,810 per year in May 2019, while those in the 90th percentile made $158,860. Keep in mind that these figures represent analyst salaries across a wide range of industries and roles, as well as all levels of experience.
Location, for example, can have an impact on earnings potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts in New York made the most money, with an annual mean wage of $121,750 in May 2019. With a total of $121,570, New Jersey was a close second.
Salary is affected by education and experience. A bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for security analysts; however, some employers may prefer analysts with master’s degrees, which can result in higher salaries. As shown in the graph below, experience level can have an impact on earnings.
Where Can I Work as a Security Analyst?
Because jobs in the field cover a wide range of geographic areas, industries, and employers, security analysts have a lot of options for where they can work. Analysts’ earning potential is influenced by where they work as well as the roles they take on. Security analysts work in a variety of industries, including computer and software engineering, management, and finance, to name a few. This section discusses the types of industries and employers that hire security analysts, as well as which cities pay the most.
Your career and earnings potential are affected by where you live. For instance, smaller, more rural towns might include fewer career changes in the tech and IT professions, whereas more metropolitan and suburban locations provide more positions in these fields.
Even if a city’s security analyst salaries are higher than the national average, the city’s cost of living may outweigh the higher pay. The BLS reports that New York pays the highest median salary for information security analysts, but the World Population Review reports that the state’s cost of living is nearly 40% higher than the national average.
The daily tasks and responsibilities you perform in your job can be influenced by your industry. Security analysts may be required to work alongside a variety of professionals depending on the industry.
Computer and information technology industries employ the majority of security analysts. Security analysts in finance and management make up the next largest group. Others work as administrative security analysts. Security analysts and other IT professionals are employed by a wide range of companies and organizations, so administrative roles vary.
Employers and industries can also have an impact on earning potential; certain industries and jobs may pay better and offer more opportunities for advancement than others.
- Northrup Grumman
Northrup Grumman specializes in aerospace, land, sea, and cyber technology design and development. Northrup Grumman works with military branches to develop cyberinfrastructure, provide security and training, and provide cybersecurity support. This growing company may employ security analysts in cyber-related positions.
Dell Technologies designs electronics and digital devices, including computers, laptops, gaming systems, software, workstations, and servers. Dell hires security analysts to help with the design and development of new programs and products, as well as to safeguard the company’s servers and data.
Accenture is a global consulting and management firm with offices across the United States. It serves a wide range of professions and industries. Accenture hires security analysts to help clients plan and implement programs and software.
How to Become a Security Analyst?
Although the path to becoming a security analyst may differ slightly from one person to the next, there are some commonalities in the process. A bachelor’s degree in information security or a related field is typically required of security analysts. Some security analysts, on the other hand, learn the skills they need on their own or through online “boot camps” that offer coding and security crash courses and workshops. Certifications are frequently given out as a result of these workshops.
The amount of time it takes to become a security analyst is determined by the educational path you choose. The steps outlined below will show you how to get started in your career.
Steps to Becoming a Security Analyst
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree: For security analysts, a bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement. Some employers, on the other hand, prefer candidates with a master’s degree. To determine which degree level to pursue in your chosen industry, conduct research. Cybersecurity, information security, computer programming, and related fields are some of the most common areas of study.
- Certifications in IT fields, such as operating systems, coding languages, and software, are held by many security analysts. Certain certifications can be obtained during your undergraduate or graduate studies or after graduation.
- Gain Field Experience: Aspiring security analysts should work in security analysis and closely related fields to gain experience. This experience improves your resume and makes you more appealing to potential employers.
Security Analyst Requirements
Meeting certain requirements, such as education, certification, and experience, is usually required to become a security analyst. These requirements are further explained in the sections below.
Education Requirements For Security Analysts
Aspiring security analysts generally study disciplines such as cybersecurity, computer science, information technology, systems analysis, or software development. Learners with these majors can frequently specialize in security analysis.
There are several more educational alternatives available in this sector. Many computer experts, for example, self-learn new scripts, codes, applications, and platforms. According to a recent survey of computer programmers, 85.5 percent said they taught themselves a new tool, framework, or coding language without taking a formal course.
According to the same survey, 45 percent of respondents have earned a bachelor’s degree, with the vast majority majoring in computer science, computer engineering, or software engineering. Some analysts may seek cybersecurity master’s and doctoral degrees. Graduate degrees in the IT profession can lead to higher salaries and more advanced responsibilities.
Employers frequently prefer applicants with specific educational backgrounds, so whether you self-teach or acquire a degree may be a factor. Look into the credentials that employers prefer in your fields of interest.
License And Certification Requirements For Security Analysts
Certifications in a variety of programs, software, and operating systems can help you stand out to prospective employers. The following are some of the most popular security analyst certifications:
CompTIA Security+ This certification demonstrates foundational cybersecurity skills and qualifies holders for intermediate-level cybersecurity jobs. Threats and vulnerabilities, risk management, architecture and design, and cryptography are all covered in the 90-credit certification exam.
The CISSP stands for Certified Information Systems Security Professional, and it denotes expertise in security system design, development, and implementation. Security and risk management, communication and network security, security operations, and software development security are among the topics covered in the certification exam.
The Information Systems Audit and Control Administration offers the Certified Information Security Manager certification, which indicates expertise in risk management, program development, incident management, and information security.
Required Experience For Security Analysts
Candidates often gain experience in the field before becoming security analysts, which can include academic courses and cybersecurity internships. Before entering the job market, aspiring security analysts gain valuable knowledge and skills through experience.
As previously mentioned, some analysts gain knowledge and skills by self-teaching or attending boot camps and workshops that allow them to hone their skills in a short amount of time. Some employers prefer candidates with academic credentials, while others may consider candidates who have self-taught skills.
In either case, gaining experience in the field can help candidates stand out to employers and increase their earning potential.