Cyber Security Analyst Job Description
Cyber security analysts assess, plan, and enact security measures to help protect an organization from security breaches and attacks on its computer networks and systems. This job involves simulating attacks to identify vulnerabilities, testing new software to help protect the company’s data, and helping users adhere to new regulations and processes to ensure the network stays safe. Cyber security analysts usually work as part of an IT department for various organizations and typically work a full-time schedule. This job is best suited to people with excellent knowledge of and experience using computers and security software who enjoy thinking critically to find new ways to resolve issues.
Cyber Security Analyst Duties and Responsibilities
Cyber security analysts take on a range of different tasks that depend on the organization they work for. Based on job listings we analyzed, a cyber security analyst’s duties typically involve:
Monitor Computer Networks
Cyber security analysts monitor the organization’s computer networks and systems to identify any violations and security breaches that need to be resolved.
Cyber security analysts are responsible for installing and utilizing software, such as firewalls and data encryption programs, to help protect the company’s data and sensitive information.
Conduct Tests on Systems
Cyber security analysts carry out regular tests to simulate attacks so they can identify areas where the company is vulnerable and ways in which its systems might be exploited by hackers and viruses.
Develop Processes and Standards
Cyber security analysts develop processes and regulations to ensure the company’s systems stay as safe as possible, in addition to developing security standards for all employees to adhere to. This involves researching the latest information technology security trends and software to help prevent any issues.
Cyber security analysts prepare and create regular reports to document any process implementation, improvements made, and security breaches that caused damage to the company.
Cyber Security Analyst Skills and Qualifications
Cyber security analysts need to be critical thinkers with excellent attention to detail. They also need the ingenuity to find new ways to improve current systems and networks within an organization. Typically, employers require a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related subject as well as the following abilities:
- Analytical thinking – cyber security analysts study computer networks and systems and assess any risks to see how security policies can be improved, so strong analytical skills are important to this job
- Problem-solving skills – cyber security analysts must quickly respond to security alerts and fix any network flaws, so they need to be good at resolving issues
- Attention to detail – detail is important in this job, as some cyberattacks are difficult to detect and could affect the safety of the company’s data, so cyber security analysts must be detail oriented
- Critical thinking – cyber security analysts assess risks and find new ways to protect the computer networks within their organization, so they need critical thinking skills to resolve unforeseen problems and think strategically
- Technical skills – cyber security analysts work with computer programs, networks, and systems on a daily basis, so they need to be technically minded to resolve issues and quickly pick up new software
Cyber Security Analyst Education and Training
The minimum requirement to become a cyber security analyst is a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, such as computer science, information assurance, or programming. Some companies may prefer applicants who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems; these programs usually require two years of previous study beyond the undergraduate level, including business and computer-related courses. Candidates looking to improve their chances of employment may also choose to earn a certificate in information security. There are several general information security certifications available, including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) designation.
Cyber Security Analyst Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for cyber security analysts is $95,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Cyber security analysts in the 10th percentile earn around $55,000 annually, while the highest paid earn close to $153,000 a year. The higher end of this pay scale can include bonuses and profit-sharing opportunities of up to $15,000. Over 80 percent of companies provide medical and dental insurance as part of their benefit packages. The BLS predicts that this sector will grow 28 percent through 2026.
We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you learn more about a career as a cyber security analyst:
Cyber Security – this LinkedIn group has over 13,000 members from all over the world and aims to bring together like-minded professionals in the computer security sector who want to network, discuss the latest industry trends, and share knowledge
Cybersecurity – Attack and Defense Strategies – this comprehensive guide helps readers gain a clear understanding of different defense methods and how to recognize abnormal behavior within an organization’s network and computer systems. It provides expert knowledge on how to mitigate risks and prevent attackers before they have a chance to infiltrate the system
Cybersecurity for Beginners – for those new to the industry, this book provides a great introduction to the essentials of cyber security and how the world of technology has developed over the last decade
CSO Online – this site covers all things related to security and risk management, from physical and information security to identity and access management. It’s a useful site for staying up to date with the latest news and trends
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