In recent years, cyber-attacks and data breaches have become a significant issue for every organization. Organizations have turned to security specialists who can put their best practices to secure the organization’s assets. This scenario has led to a rise in the demand for security analysts.
Security is the core aspect of any business success, and that’s the reason why they need for information security analysts is increasing. These professionals are considered as the backbone of business security and safeguard vital data from unauthorized access.
Who is an Information Security Analyst?
The information security analysts execute security systems to safeguard the organization’s networks, data, and also help to maintain security standards. To attain this, the security analyst should think thoroughly about the organization and work across various departments to identify the defects. They are involved in changing to the entire security posture of an organization. This process is accomplished by checking at each security measure and how effective it is.
Technology keeps on changing constantly. This changing process includes data transmission, data analysis, storage, encryption, and beyond. The proficiency of a security analyst depends on how capable they are to update with the latest security trends and cyber-attack strategies.
The security analysts install firewalls and required encryption programs to protect the data from unauthorized users. They also check for network vulnerabilities, update software, and inform the IT staff to enhance the security measures to handle crises.
Responsibilities of an Information Security Analyst
The common responsibility of a security analyst is to safeguard and prevent cyber-attacks. The specific work criteria depend on the organization. It is much easier and inexpensive to protect the data from security threats rather than trying to recover the data from threats.
Here are a few typical responsibilities of an information security analyst:
- Document the security breaches and measure the damage caused.
- Install software like firewalls and essential data encryption programs to safeguard organization vital data.
- Be up-to-date about the latest security trends.
- Prepare documentation about the security breaches and the damage caused.
- Suggest security enhancement methods to the organization management or the IT staff.
- Implementing both internal and external security audits.
- Analyze the security issues thoroughly to identify the root cause.
- To verify whether the third party vendors meet security requirements.
- Providing guidance to amateur computer users when they want to know about security procedures.
- Researching about the newest security technology that best suits for safeguard your organization.
- Implement penetration testing.
- They create a disaster recovery plan, which is an essential procedure to be followed by every employee during an emergency. The disaster recovery plan includes transferring data to other locations and restores IT functioning immediately after a disaster.
Information Security Analyst skills
Here are few of the essential areas of expertise that security analyst should possess to have a progressive career in the field:
- Incident response
Handles the negative impact of security breaches and cyber-attacks on future prevention. Also, fixes the breaches in a timely manner.
- Ethical hacking
The concept of ethical hacking is to identify the security threats, which in turn helps the organization to safeguard itself from threats from unauthorized access. It includes penetration testing as well. Here the security analyst tests the computer networks and other applications to check vulnerabilities.
- Risk management skills
Should be capable enough to create and uphold the information security policies.
- Computer forensics
Computer forensics allows the security analyst to avoid organizational crime through data collection, analysis, and reporting the data in case of a data breach.
- Intrusion prevention
Intrusion prevention involves checking the network traffic thoroughly to identify potential threats and responding to the risks accordingly.
In addition to the above-mentioned skills, the professional should also possess proficiency in firewalls, network security, Linux, Unix, security engineering, security architecture, and security assurance. Most of the professionals working in this domain are detailed oriented, have interpersonal skills, and also have an analytical mindset as well.
Education requirements and certifications
The typical entry for a security analyst job role requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, Information science, or any other related field. Most companies look who seek for security analysts prefer the candidates having 1-5 years of experience in any relevant job role.
Most employers prefer to hire employees having ample experience in the domain. Don’t let that criterion alone stop pursuing a career as a security analyst. You can start by opting for security certification.
There are many widely-recognized IT Security and Governance certifications available, but employers prefer the candidates having a suitable certification, which validates their knowledge and best practices to become information security analysts.
Here is a list of certifications:
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- CompTIA Security+
- COBIT 5 Certifications
The career prospects of Information Security Analysts are quite promising and positive. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the growth prediction in the field will rise to 32 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than across the industries.
The growing demand in the field assures you job security. Organizations need security protection in the ever-increasing time of online business. Tech giants entirely depend on security professionals to prevent hacking of sensitive data. On the other hand, financial organizations need security professionals to protect people’s financial data. They are also required at government organizations worldwide to uphold security protocols and protect confidential data.
In addition to enjoying flexible working hours, these professionals also earn an attractive salary as well.
According to Indeed.com, the average remuneration of an information security analyst in the United States is $93,697 and ranges typically between $55,508 and $67,331. These professionals are paid considering their education, skills, and experience.
List of highest paying cities in the United States:
The average remuneration of an information security analyst in Toronto is around $66K and ranges between $46K to $99K.
Security Analysts play a vital role in safeguarding the integrity and security of the organization’s data. They plan, upgrade, monitor security measures, and respond to viruses. They help to avoid the risk by taking a thorough look at the organization’s IT infrastructure to identify the vulnerabilities.
Some of the popular IT Security and Governance courses that professionals can take up are: