Electronic data holds many secrets and is the key to an organization’s prosperity. Information security (IS) analysts are the experts who can protect them.
The jobs related to an information security analyst are also extremely diverse and open. Experts will likely have to maintain firewalls, control traffic flow, and find system vulnerabilities.
With such specialized knowledge and skills, there are many requirements that you need to know if you are interested in this position.
So, how to become an information security analyst? Follow these four steps:
- Get a bachelor’s degree
- Earn job-related experience and skills
- Attain required certifications
- Pursue an advanced cybersecurity degree
To learn more about the steps listed, let’s continue reading the article to explore!
An information security analyst specializes in monitoring and managing an organization’s information systems and computer networks.
They can find security holes in a business’s digital system with their analytical skills. As a result, these professionals can manage the company’s proprietary and confidential information.
These analysts also review data to recommend effective network security strategies as well as prevent illegal intrusions.
Companies need this position to reduce the risk and damage that can happen when information is leaked to the outside.
The strength of information security analysts is a combination of skills and the constant updating of cybersecurity systems and strategies.
With the daily development of technology, professionals must keep up to date on both hardware and software. Even so, the professional mission of information security remains unchanged.
The primary responsibility of information security analysts is to secure information and reduce advanced risks. There are many levels of expertise, from fresher to professionals. You will need to perform the following standard jobs:
- Develop processes and plans to deal with attacks and data breaches.
- Monitor computer software, network systems, and users to secure enterprise information systems.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest information attack strategies and find ways to combat them from time to time.
- Build, encrypt data transfers, and maintain firewalls to protect business-critical information.
- Prepare technologies, plans, and systems to combat attack vectors or malware that modify and destroy data.
- Regularly test and assess risks to fix applicable security flaws.
- Training and sharing for employees about the dangers of cyber-attacks and prevention methods.
An information security analyst is a profession that is extremely in demand in the market.
The continuous progress and transfer of science and technology make information technology an indispensable part of life.
Many industries depend on information such as banking, finance, oil and gas, or the military. They need to build a strong security system to prevent external risks.
Not only that but other businesses and organizations are also starting to need security experts to make their information systems more stable.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 16,300 jobs opened for IT security analysts each year. This number will grow stronger with the development of technology.
With overwhelming demand, it is not difficult to realize this job offers a very attractive source of income.
In 2023, the average salary for this position was $127,336 per year. This number has grown to $202,312 per year by 2027.
For recent graduates, you will need to meet several factors to receive the salary above. They can be specialized skills, experience, or work location.
Many people are interested in becoming a security expert with the above incentives and benefits. Read on to discover the roadmap for this exciting and challenging undertaking.
A required element that any security professional should possess is a bachelor’s degree in a related field of technology, mathematics, engineering, or computers.
You can find these degrees in general university courses like programming or computer science.
Additionally, more people can join network-security boot camps to provide more in-depth training and more realistic military-like skills.
Those who want to delve deeper into computer security at the university level can refer to courses related to management information systems.
This major allows you to apply information security skills in the business process. It will be more different from detecting viruses or security holes.
While a degree will certainly help a candidate stand out in the job market, you still need to have relevant skills and experience on your resume.
Some employers accept entry-level computer-related experience.
However, most businesses are looking for candidates with several years of information security experience.
These experiences will show the candidate’s ability to react to real-life situations. It is a mandatory assessment standard.
Some experiences and skills that you should prepare in advance include:
- Information security basics: You will need knowledge of security infrastructure, risk management systems, firewalls, and routers. Some jobs also require experience in penetration testing and security ethics.
- Privacy Laws: Each region will have its own set of data privacy laws that professionals need to be familiar with. It would be best if you also understood the rules of your industry.
Additionally, computer-security professionals should stay up-to-date with the latest intrusive technologies and strategies.
Recognizing these advances will allow them to stay one step ahead of potential dangers.
Computer security certifications will be the next element that you need to prepare yourself. In addition to the theoretical foundations, equip yourself with some certifications in practical skills.
Some of the certifications that you should pay attention to include:
The CEH certification reveals the tactics and advanced logistics behind attacks to penetrate data, such as reverse engineering and virus coding.
This certificate trains you in the tactics that hackers use. Understanding their thoughts will certainly help build stronger defenses.
CISA certification focuses on building, acquiring, implementing, and testing information security systems.
Upon completion of the course, you may be able to assess how effective your organization’s network-security strategy is.
One of the basic certifications that network-security professionals must achieve is the Security+ certification. It serves as a knowledge base on IT security and risk management.
Although this is only the first step, it will be the beginning of many different opportunities.
The gold standard that data security analysts need is the CISSP certification. They cover different topics:
- IT security
Employers will ask for this certificate when you apply to their company.
4. Pursue an Advanced Degree
If you want to advance faster in information security, consider earning an advanced degree like a Master’s degree in Cybersecurity.
This program of study is a smooth combination of practical analytical experience and academic knowledge. It allows you to dig deeper into the organization’s business model.
Exposure may include studying the legal aspects of the profession and analyzing real-life situations.
By adding experience and knowledge related to the expanding areas, you will have a more holistic approach to the position.
Different jobs will require additional knowledge, experience, and qualifications. For an information security analyst, this position will have separate segments.
Some companies need personnel with access to proprietary information systems on digital properties. Others need network security managers.
When you’re just starting your career, one useful tip to keep in mind is to research the organization’s job description carefully.
Different business units will require other skills and experience sets. So, work on the skills you’re most confident in so that they become your selling points.
Understanding the job market also helps you decide on a faster and clearer job path. Not everyone can learn everything.
Although there are constantly changing requirements for a computer security analyst, there are still constant factors.
The first skill that experts cannot lack is technology and software knowledge.
They need to learn different databases and programming languages about network monitoring and intrusion prevention software. This knowledge changes over time, so you’ll need to keep it updated.
Some of the standard programs that analysts should be interested in are Symantec, Blackboard, Django, and Apache Ant.
Second, a strong background in computer science will make your work smoother. Sometimes, experts will have to write code to prevent external data attacks. They will need to work with both hardware and software.
Without this skill, it is almost impossible for them to complete the job smoothly.
Third, pay attention to the electronic and technical aspects of the business. Each company will equip a different information system and network. You need to understand how companies use technology to solve problems effectively.
Finally, do not forget about management skills to increase your productivity.
A top analysis team needs the ability to control departmental budgets. They are also responsible for developing, presenting, and monitoring protocols and plans.
In addition to technical knowledge, top security experts also need to add some soft skills. They do not contribute directly to your work but will help the process go more smoothly.
The first skill is problem-solving. It is not too difficult to understand when everyday experts are faced with complex issues.
When security breaches and break-ins happen, they need to find solutions quickly. The more time you spend, the more money your business will lose.
The second skill is meticulousness and care to pay attention to details to detect unusual errors.
Many malicious codes can stay deep in the network for a long time. If left unattended, they can cause serious disturbances.
Analysts need to keep a close eye on changes in corporate systems. They need to come up with solutions quickly and in the most timely manner.
The third skill is analyzing current data and predicting future security trends.
Technology always develops on a knowledge base. Take a close look at current trends and data to be best prepared.
The last skill is the ability to communicate and listen to colleagues. No one can succeed alone.
You need to be able to work as a team effectively. Please regularly comment and receive contributions from the other party with the most comfortable spirit.
If you have any questions related to the information security analyst, let’s find out more in the section below!
Is information security analysis a good career?
IS analyst is a career with great growth opportunities in the future, thanks to its extremely high demand.
According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of information security analysts will grow by 33% between 2020 and 2030.
This rate is higher than most other occupations, with an average growth rate of only approximately 4%.
Network-security is a great fit for remote work. It is also a distinctive feature of jobs in the IT and computer sectors.
Companies hiring for this job are located in various industries such as education, gaming, finance, or government.
An information security analyst works 35 to 40 hours per week.
Certain jobs of a specific nature may require you to work overtime to complete projects. Some businesses divide employees’ work schedules into shifts, including nights and weekends.
Hopefully, this article has helped you get an overview of the roadmap to becoming a talented network-security analyst.
This job has quite high technical and technological requirements along with heavy responsibilities. However, that is also the reason why it has the potential for breakthrough development and attractive compensation.
It opens a new challenge to attract more participants. Stay up-to-date with the latest security trends and attacks to keep a strong footing in the industry.
Do not forget to share this article if you find it useful and interesting.
Thank you for reading!