The risk of data breaches is increasing, so businesses are always searching for skilled professionals who can safeguard their data. And that’s why the demand for data security analysts is rising.
If you want to turn your love for technology into an impactful career, consider this job. I will show you how to become a data security analyst.
So, let’s scroll down to check!
There are many data-related jobs, and data security is among the most popular ones. Before digging into this career, let me first explain what this job is about.
A data security analyst monitors and analyzes network activities within an organization. Then, they can identify threats and address them soon.
To do this task, the data security analyst conducts research. They also use analytical tools to solve data issues. So, you can consider them the protectors of the computer systems in a company.
The data security analyst also creates plans for disaster recovery. It often includes steps to fix the errors and minimize risks.
To become a data security analyst, you need a bachelor’s degree in IT, computer, or a similar area. You can also have a math or engineering degree.
Some people just finish high school and earn an associate’s degree. Yet, they get relevant certifications to dig into the major.
For this job, you must be excellent in networks and computers. Learning how to manage data security in computer systems is important, too. Thus, choose an education path to help you understand the data security analysis concepts.
Data security analysts have busy work days because there are many tasks to cover. I’m working in this position, so I will share what I do every day here.
There can be many security threats in computer systems. Data vulnerabilities also pose a risk to computers. Thus, as a data security analyst, I search for anything that may harm the data or any place where someone may attack it.
To perform this task, I learn how hackers and harmful software work. Then, based on them, I spot signs of danger and find ways to fix them.
Network systems don’t stop working even when my work hours are over. Thus, I have to keep an eye on them 24/7.
There are many things to monitor. For example, I check the security of software, network, and even physical devices. They must work properly to keep the data safe and private.
The computer systems must follow regulatory compliance standards. Otherwise, hackers can attack them easily. So, checking if the systems obey the standards is part of my job.
I create plans and rules for protecting the data systems. For instance, I think about how to lock it with special codes and hide it so unauthorized people can’t access it.
I also train others in my company about data security. More specifically, I create programs and lessons to help them work with data properly.
To become a data security analyst, please take the following six steps:
First, you need to get a bachelor’s degree. This program lasts about four years and teaches you important things about computers and data security.
The curriculum varies depending on your major and school. Your school may also cover different tools and concepts that you can use as a future data security analyst. For example:
The IDPS (Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems) can help you monitor networks. Then, you can easily spot malicious activities in real time.
Hackers may access the data systems in many ways. When you use the IDPS, you can block them by setting a security alert system. Another solution is to create an automated reaction whenever the system spots suspicious actions.
The network never stops working because of the ongoing traffic within it. And to check it, you need a firewall.
The firewall acts as a security device. It can monitor the outgoing and incoming network traffic. If you give it security rules, you can then block or allow traffic.
DLP (Data Loss Prevention) is software that spots and prevents security breaches. Thanks to it, you can avoid data leakage and loss.
DLP offers many benefits for a data security analyst. For example, you can use it to protect your data while complying with regulations. It will also help network administrators control what kind of data other employees can share.
When studying this concept, you will work with identity verification. Then, you can apply it to work, ensuring that users can access the data appropriately.
Network systems also involve end-user devices like laptops, phones, or computers. Thus, you need to protect them too.
Endpoint security is about securing those devices from malicious actors. This approach has become more important than ever because many of us now work from home. We may use our home networks to access the data in this case. Unfortunately, it will reduce data security.
Certifications can make you stand out from the candidates. And when studying to get the certificates, you will learn interesting things about your future job.
Even when you have completed your college education, consider obtaining a certificate. It allows you to focus on one aspect of the field deeply.
If you like this idea, consider the certifications below:
This certification works on network security concepts. It’s the best option if you want to become a network administrator or security analyst.
After the course, you can create, manage, and troubleshoot networks. To do that, you will learn the fundamentals of networking first, then work on network security.
Many businesses want their data security analysts to have this certification because it focuses on baseline security. It will help you master risk management, forensics, and incident response.
This certification will be an excellent choice if you intend to perform essential security tasks and follow a data security career. You can then hone the baseline skills needed for your future job.
If you are new to the data security industry, consider this certification. It covers all the fundamentals and provides you with the key concepts.
You need to study first, but knowledge is not enough for you to thrive in your role. So while studying, try to develop your technical and soft skills.
- IT and networking: You should understand how security issues happen and how to stop them. As a data security analyst, you will have to detect suspicious things within the networks. Your boss may also ask you to set up security systems.
- Vulnerability detection: A big part of your job is looking for computer network vulnerabilities. When you spot them, you can see where there may be problems with data. Then, you can improve the security systems and prepare for potential problems later on.
- Incident response: Train yourself to respond quickly and effectively to threats. You need to decipher data about a potential threat or breach and then categorize it.
- Tool management: Just like any other IT area, you will use many tools at work. They help you with your data protection tasks.
- Risk analysis: You must determine the essential assets in your company’s IT infrastructure. Then, for each of them, find how much risk there is based on the type of data it deals with. After that, you can decide how to reduce the risks to protect them.
- Problem-solving: Security issues may arise at any time. As a data security analyst, you should be ready for them and think about the best solutions.
- Communication: You need good speaking communication skills to interact with your colleagues, managers, and clients. Writing skills are important, too, because you have to document your work.
- Organization: You have a lot of responsibilities, so try to keep everything organized. Moreover, as you become more experienced, you may need to lead a team or a project. In such cases, organization skills will be more critical.
- Critical thinking: You make important decisions every day. Thus, you need to think carefully, ask the right questions, and consider alternatives. And remember that you must make data-driven conclusions because you are working on data.
The data security analyst job requires experience. Hence, jumping straight to that position is not easy.
Instead, you can get an internship first. This period allows you to work in real-world situations and gain hands-on experience.
While working as an intern, you will get to know many people in the industry. They will show you interesting things that you haven’t learned at college.
Some schools include the internship program as part of their curriculum. But if yours doesn’t, you still need to get one because of the abovementioned benefits.
During the internship, try to work hard. Although you don’t have good pay for this position, it can give you a much more valuable thing: experience!
After the internship, update your resume. It’s what employers use to learn about you. If it’s attractive, they will contact you.
Aside from the internship, mention your education, skills, and achievements in the resume. They should be the best things that you want to show to your employers.
When done, check the resume again for any spelling and grammatical mistakes. If employers spot any of them, they will assume that you don’t pay attention to detail. Meanwhile, this skill is important for a data security analyst.
Finally, find job openings for data security analysts and apply for your favorite. You can search online or ask your friends if they know of any job opportunities.
Remember to read the job descriptions carefully. Then, tailor your resume according to the job requirements. It shows that you care for the job and you have all the qualities needed.
Write a cover letter, too. You need to prove that you are the right fit for that position. But try to make it short and to the point.
Then, just wait for a call or email. The employers will reach out to you if they like your performance. So keep calm and be patient!
In 2023, you can earn around $108,934 per year as a data security analyst. This rate varies depending on where you live. For example, here is the average annual salary of data security analysts in some areas:
- New York City: $112,093
- Boston: $106,245
- Renton: $108,621
- Berkeley: $111,293
- Merced: $108,100
Your experience plays a vital role in your salary range, too. Companies don’t mind paying more to hire an experienced analyst. So, don’t be discouraged if your starting salary is low. You can quickly level up and have higher pay.
There are many ways to become a data security analyst. So, the time you need depends on which path you choose. For example, a bachelor’s degree takes about four years. Yet, accelerated programs will reduce the learning time.
Some don’t obtain a bachelor’s degree. Instead, they join bootcamps. Each bootcamp only takes about 13 to 40 weeks. You can also choose to join part-time or full-time courses.
Certifications are often the shortest way to qualify for a job. Each takes a few hours or weeks. Yet, it may require prior experience that needs years to earn.
Yes. Data security analysis is a good job, and here are the reasons:
- Good pay: You will have a competitive salary. As you earn more experience, it will be much higher.
- High demand: Most companies rely on technology but still face security issues. Thus, the demand for data security analysts is high.
- Variety: You can work in many industries as long as they need data security.
- Impact: You will enjoy your work because you contribute to the data security of a whole organization.
You have many things to do if you want to become a data security analyst. And as technology develops, so do the challenges for this job. But I believe that you can pull it off with your passion for technology.
This job is also in high demand and has good pay. So keep the rewards you can get from it in mind. They are the biggest motivations to keep you sticking to your dream.