August 15, 2017
What is a Security Analyst?
A Security Analyst is an IT professional that is responsible for maintaining the security and integrity of data and networks within an organization. These computer specialists are responsible for protecting all sensitive information within a company and ensure that all networks have adequate security to prevent unauthorized access. They must continually adapt to stay ahead of cyberattacks. A Security Analyst’s typical duties vary from monitoring the organization’s networks for breaches, investigating violations, and preparing reports, to conducting penetration testing and developing security standards (BLS.gov). Security Analysts work with business administrators, in addition to IT professionals, to communicate flaws in security systems and to recommend improvements. TechRepublic shared that “people in these positions take a proactive approach in terms of prevention, detection, and incident response, as well as training employees”.
Cyberattacks have been on the rise around the globe, with hackers targeting both large and small organizations to steal valuable information or take down computer networks. Security Analysts are needed across all industries. Specific tasks may include encrypting data transmissions and erecting firewalls to conceal confidential information, or developing plans to safeguard computer files. Security Analysts are valued for their ability to protect an organization’s data from such attacks.
Roadmap to Success
As cyberattacks are growing in frequency and sophistication, the demand is growing for Security Analysts.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shared the necessary steps on becoming an Information Security Analyst. Here’s what it takes:
- Earn a Degree: At minimum, professionals need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a related field. Many Information Security Analyst employers prefer applicants who have an MBA in information systems.
- Gain Certifications: Employers prefer candidates with certifications. Some are general information security certificates such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional, and others have a narrow focus. These certifications prove you’re ready for the job at hand.
- Have Relevant Experience: Information Security Analysts typically have previous experience in a related occupation. Many analysts have experience in an IT department, often as a network or systems administrator.
What is the outlook for Security Analysts?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports the national average salary of Information Security Analysts is $92,600, but some Security Analysts can make six-figures in larger organizations.
According to the ISACA, a non-profit information security advocacy group, there will be a global shortage of two million cyber security professionals by 2019. The study found that cyberattacks are growing, but the talent pool of defenders is not keeping up with the pace. This role has an outstanding outlook!
Take a look at our other IT role profiles here!
Posted By: Megan Thurow