An organization's computer networks and systems are under the control of an information security analyst. They secure a company's sensitive and proprietary information by using analytical skills to find holes in the digital security system.
Additionally, they suggest network security and efficiency measures using the mined data. An information security analyst coordinates firm efforts to block intrusions and stop them from happening again in the case of a system breach. These actions can prevent a breach or reduce the harm it causes.
Technology and cybercrime are constantly evolving. Keeping track of existing and new security technologies and cyberattack tactics is vital to an information security analyst's performance. Although these approaches change, the overarching goal of protecting a company's critical information stays consistent.
What precisely does a security analyst in information technology do?
An information security analyst guards against cyberattacks and data breaches on a company's computer networks, systems, and databases.
A job description for an information security analyst can vary, particularly by state. You’ll likely see responsibilities such as:
● Detecting, observing, and mediating a variety of security-related issues, such as network security, software security, and physical security
● Carrying out conformity control tests
● Creating suggestions and training initiatives to reduce security risk in the organization
● Keeping up with new cybersecurity dangers by connecting with other sources
● Coordinating with other teams and management to develop optimum security procedures within a firm
Almost every sector, including business, government, technology, finance, and energy need someone like an information security analyst. Security analysts can be found wherever there are vast volumes of data being kept, exchanged, or utilized by a computer, including business databases, banking networks, office networks, and military intelligence.
Ransomware attacks, social engineering assaults, and data theft of critical information from within a corporation or organization are the top three cybersecurity dangers to information technology networks of all sizes. Cybersecurity analysts must be equipped to handle a wide range of threats and search for security concerns both internally and externally.
What could be an Information Security Analyst's career path?
Anyone who has always had an intense curiosity about how things function, to the point of disassembling gadgets and computers and putting them back together, may find a career as an information security analyst appealing. While this may ultimately stimulate interest in a career in technology, the traditional path to becoming an information security analyst combines specialized training with relevant work experience.
Getting a bachelor's degree is the first step
Most jobs in information security require a bachelor's degree in a discipline connected to computers or technology. These undergraduate degrees can be tied to programs aimed at the security aspects of the computer world, like a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, or they can come from generalist programs like computer science or programming.
A Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems program aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively plan, create, implement, and manage a company's computer security system within the constraints of a typical contemporary corporation. The curriculum often gives students current information on a range of IT-related systems and developments, exposing them to knowledge used by professionals now employed in the sector.
For instance, the degree program can assist in instructing an information security analyst in developing, evaluating, and implementing a data disaster recovery strategy. Data transfer to an off-site location, system restarts, and disaster recovery efforts are just a few of the activities that may be required.
How does training and certifications help?
Malicious efforts to access computer networks and systems, such as malware and denial-of-service (DoS) assaults, continually evolve. Information security analysts must be capable of handling these novel versions and variations. Keeping up with the most recent advancements on the opposite side of the equation, i.e., the cyber-attack side is just as crucial as being current with cyber safety problems.
Pursuing certifications is an effective way for information system analysts to stay current with cybersecurity's ever-evolving landscape. To further validate a candidate's skill set and critical capabilities, some businesses demand that job hopefuls — and even current workers — hold specific technological certifications and keep their skills updated.
Some qualifications, like Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), demonstrate general information security expertise. However, specialist certificates also show a professional has a more in-depth understanding of a specific cybersecurity topic. For instance, a Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst certification emphasizes malware analysis capabilities. Still, a Certified Ethical Hacker degree shows the ability to ethically hack into a network's security system to find vulnerabilities.
There are requirements for some of the qualifications that graduates might be interested in pursuing. Candidates must have at least five years of experience in two or more of the eight CISSP areas, such as asset security, identity and access management (IAM), or communication and network security, to be eligible to apply for CISSP certification. Candidates must either have completed an officially recognized training course or have at least two years of experience in the information security field to apply for an initial Certified Ethical Hacker certification.
MS in cybersecurity could be a helpful pursuit
Although becoming an information security analyst requires years of on-the-job training, obtaining a graduate degree like a master's in cybersecurity may speed up the process. A curriculum like this combines academic study with real-world job experience in a professional setting. This experience component not only aids in honing cybersecurity-related abilities but also an understanding of the commercial aspects of the field. Exposure may include real-world case studies and analyses of the profession's legal implications.
An advanced cybersecurity curriculum often aids in enhancing abilities related to fields such as computer engineering and business. Along with appropriate job experience, this can offer a more well-rounded and holistic approach to the information security analyst profession, which may assist graduates in being considered for higher-level positions or development.
What are the skills required for an Information Security Analyst?
An information security analyst must possess several crucial skills to be effective. Strong analytical abilities are essential, as the job description implies, as is an in-depth understanding of computer networks and digital systems. This is necessary for evaluating the efficacy of security measures and identifying weaknesses that might result in breaches. As they might need to resolve any concerns, information security analysts must also have outstanding troubleshooting and problem-solving abilities.
Detail-oriented individuals who can detect even the smallest changes in a system's performance that might point to malware, unapproved software, or security breaches. The ability to recognize and accurately diagnose system "hiccups" might stop something much worse from happening in the future.
Finally, information security analysts should be creative and innovative thinkers who can use original approaches to overcome technological issues. It's crucial to be proactive in foreseeing information security hazards and implementing new defense tactics before assaults happen. This constant vigilance can aid in stopping a cyberattack before it ever gets a chance to begin.
What makes the salary and job outlook for Information Security Analysts interesting?
An information security analyst can earn well. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the position's median pay in 2017 was around $95,500 annually. Graduates' exact pay potential in this field depends on several variables, including years of experience and place of employment. It is also predicted by the BLS to be a field that is quickly developing, with job growth reaching 28% by 2026, which is substantially faster than the average for all other occupations.