Today, hackers are everywhere on the internet, so cybersecurity has become a special need for organizations. Each company has one or more cybersecurity analysts to safeguard their systems.
If you want to work in this role, it will be fun yet challenging. So, how to become a cyber security analyst? Even if you are new to this field, I’ve got some strategies to help you pave the way.
Let’s explore my secrets to make your dream come true!
Cybersecurity analysts play an important role in protecting IT infrastructure and networks. They are trained cyber experts and have a strong understanding of malware, cyber attacks, and cybercriminal behavior.
In addition, they also seek to predict and prevent malware or cyberattacks to help companies protect their systems and data.
I’m working as a cyber security analyst. This job is not easy because I take responsibility for the whole system. There are also many tasks to handle.
- Network monitoring: I keep an eye on everything within the computer network. There are often signs of trouble that hackers can break in, but they can’t because I know how to stop them.
- Software management: I also install and update software. Then, it can keep computers running securely and smoothly. I also search for errors in the system that can be targeted for cyber attacks.
- Reporting: My boss needs to know about computer systems. Thus, I write reports about the problems I have found. If needed, I explain what I did to fix them.
- Security plans: I create plans to ensure my company’s information stays safe. After that, I tell everyone what they should do to keep things secure.
- Avoiding breaches: There can be unwanted access to the company’s data. As a cybersecurity analyst, I work hard to guarantee that only authorized people can access the information.
- Ensuring compliance: I also follow regulations and rules to keep data safe. They are important to protect confidential information.
- Disaster recovery: A data breach is dangerous, so I try not to let it happen. I worked with my team to fix this issue and recover the lost data.
Whatever job or company you want to work for, you need to take the steps below to become a good cybersecurity analyst.
1. Gain Relevant Experience
First, gain experience that will help you when you are ready to apply for the job. Even if you don’t have the job title yet, you can try other computer-related jobs.
For example, some may work in different computer jobs within a company’s IT department. It helps you practice and learn skills.
2. Obtain Education
Most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computers. Some even like it if you have a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
Hence, it’s also important to go to college and get a degree. Some colleges offer specific degrees for cybersecurity. However, you don’t have to choose that exact degree. The one in software engineering or computer science is good enough.
You can also take classes that focus on security. They teach you essential things about keeping computer systems safe.
3. Earn Necessary Certifications
Going to college is not all! Companies also like those with certificates. They can show how good you are at cybersecurity.
If you are just starting, consider the CySA+ certification. It doesn’t require experience, but you still need to show skills in some areas of cybersecurity.
The CySA+ test has different sections. For example, you have to handle threats and project systems. When there are incidents, you must respond to them immediately.
You can also choose CISSP. This certificate is for experienced folks in the field. It means you must have hands-on experience. The learning path will be hard, but the certification is valuable.
Another common certification for cybersecurity is CSA+. You can learn essential technical skills when joining the course.
4. Develop Your Skills
You’ve done with the knowledge, but it’s not enough. To become a cybersecurity analyst, you need many skills.
I will talk about hard skills first. They indicate how well you can deal with technical stuff.
You must learn to find out if hackers are trying to break into computer systems. To do it, you monitor networks constantly. You may also need to analyze event logs and use tools to catch those attacks.
As a cybersecurity analyst, you have to keep different devices safe. They can be smartphones, computers, and other smart devices.
There are many things to do for this task. For example, you use tools like firewalls and antivirus software to protect the devices. Private networks can also help.
You should know about different operating systems. You may work on Windows, iOS, and Linux in the future. So, prepare skills for all of them if possible.
Protecting the database is one of the most critical tasks for a cybersecurity analyst. You have to use encryption to keep the data safe. Remember to manage who can access it, too.
Most attacks occur through computer networks. Thus, learn how networks function and where hackers can attack them.
You will work with risks every day. Hence, develop your analyzing skills to ensure your company and clients have safe networks.
A cybersecurity analyst has to prevent hackers. Interestingly, you can perform this task well if you know how to hack. Then, you can predict and stop cyberattacks.
Soft skills are equally important. You need them to work productively and collaborate well with others.
Attention to detail
Small things may make or break the computer systems. Hence, a cybersecurity analyst has to notice tiny changes. Then, you can prevent big data loss for your organization.
You don’t work alone. As a cybersecurity analyst, you will collaborate with many people. They are your clients, colleagues, and managers.
So, hone your communication skills. In the future, you must teach others in your company how to stay safe online. You can also assist your clients with their technical stuff.
Critical thinking helps you make smart decisions after analyzing the data. Then, you can fix weak points and deal with threats easier.
The tech world keeps changing. Hence, hackers can come up with new tricks to attack your computer systems. So what can you do?
In this scenario, being curious will help you stay up to date. This way, you can learn about new threats and technologies to keep things safe.
There are many tasks in a day. Moreover, if an emergency arises, you have to act quickly to tackle it.
I’m stressed out sometimes. But after years of working in this position, I have learned how to deal with stress. You should be ready for it, too.
5. Apply For An Internship
An internship gives you a chance to gain hands-on experience. Then, you can expect what you will face when working as a cybersecurity analyst.
So look for companies and organizations that offer internships in cybersecurity. You can search online or ask your college to find some.
Even though it’s an internship, you must be serious. If you perform well, your mentor or boss may offer you a full-time position after this period.
Plus, do not be afraid to ask questions if you are sure about your task. Otherwise, you may do something wrong. Remember that internships are all about learning.
Another thing to expect in your internship is that you can’t get paid well. The salary is low for interns due to the lack of experience. But don’t worry! You can earn much more than just money.
6. Work On Projects
Working on projects is another excellent way to earn experience. Start with simple topics. And as you learn, you can move on to bigger challenges.
Sometimes, it’s fun to work on projects with friends. You can learn from each other. Teamwork also helps you tackle more significant tasks.
7. Find A Mentor
If you are not confident in your journey, find a mentor. They have the experience and expertise to guild you.
If you already have a job, you can ask someone in your IT department to be your mentor. And if not, find professionals on LinkedIn.
Not everyone is willing to become a mentor. So be patient and try a few times to find your perfect match.
8. Create A Resume
A good resume helps you stand out. It also increases your chances of receiving a call from your favorite company.
So what should you include in your resume? First, mention your education and certifications. Add useful skills during your internship or any activities, too.
Then, write a short paragraph that tells the company why you are perfect for the job. You can highlight some achievements here as well.
Another tip is to change your resume a bit each time you apply for a job. To do this, read the job description carefully. Then, you know what the company needs.
When the resume is ready, send it to the company with job openings. After that, prepare for your first job interview.
The interview is a meeting where your employers ask you questions to know more about you. So try to impress them. I have some quick tips here:
- First, be polite and dress nicely.
- Learn about the company to find out what employees they look for.
- Expect some questions you often have during the interview.
- Finally, arrive on time!
Yes. Hackers are causing many problems. They attack companies and steal their important information. Unfortunately, these issues cost the companies a lot of money. As a result, they need skilled people to protect them.
Even famous companies are the victims of hackers. Thus, the demand for cybersecurity analysts is very high.
Moreover, many cybersecurity professionals say that their companies don’t have enough skilled people. Meanwhile, the workload is major.
There is a big increase of 35% in this field from 2023 to 2033. This growth leads to approximately 19,500 new jobs annually.
As you can see, cybersecurity is becoming more and more important. So hone your skills today. There are many job opportunities for you then.
Salary and Career Outlook
Cybersecurity analysts’ salaries can differ depending on their location, education, and experience. In 2023, they can earn about $109,396 per year.
Besides, if you work in a big city like Washington or New York, you can get paid more, around 11 to 17% higher than the average. Meanwhile, places like Dallas and San Antonio often offer lower salaries.
You can also become a cybersecurity analyst without experience. Here are some steps to take for this journey:
- Start by learning the basics of cybersecurity. You can take classes and programs about it.
- Get cybersecurity certificates. They help you stand out because employers can tell that you have learned the important stuff. Plus, you can prove that you are serious about this career.
- Even if you are a cybersecurity analyst, you have to keep learning. So without experience, you must work more. Try to keep up with new technologies to stop cyber attacks.
Becoming a cybersecurity analyst is not just about jobs. It’s an important mission to safeguard the whole computer system from bad people.
If you want to work in this role, start your journey now! It requires a high level of technical knowledge and skills. But I believe that you can do well with passion and determination.
Thank you for reading!