Network Security Analyst Job Description
Network Security Analysts design, implement and maintain computer and information security systems. They monitor networks to detect any suspicious or hostile activities, and take measures, such as installing firewalls, to defend against malicious attacks on the systems. Network Security Analyst generally work as part of a larger IT team.
Demand for Network Security Analysts is very high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an employment growth of 18 percent by 2024 for all Information Security Analysts, including Network Security Analysts. This will mean an additional 14,800 additional jobs.
Network Security Analyst Duties and Responsibilities
To accomplish their primary goal of protecting computer and telecommunication systems, Network Security Analysts perform many tasks. We analyzed several job listings to identify these core Network Security Analyst duties and responsibilities.
Network Security Analysts conduct periodic network monitoring and intrusion detection analysis to determine if there have been any attacks on the system. They analyze network traffic to identify anomalies, and test the information security controls for weaknesses.
Respond to Threats
If malicious activity has been detected in the system, the Network Security Analyst takes mitigating actions to contain the activity and minimize damage. They may also facilitate forensics analysis to determine the source of the threat.
Design and Implement Safeguards
Network Security Analysts design and implement new safeguards to protect the system. They work with other IT teams to implement the new safeguards, whether it is in the form of software, hardware, or new operating procedures.
Communicate Security Issues to Management
The Network Security Analyst works with stakeholders at all levels of the organization to communicate the state of information security, inform of possible risks, and suggest ways to improve security.
Research Emerging Threats
Network Security Analysts must stay on top of emerging threats and vulnerabilities in IT security. They conduct research, and attend conferences, professional association meetings and technical symposia to gain awareness of the latest information security technological developments.
Network Security Analyst Skills
Self-driven and able to work well as part of a team or individually, a successful Network Security Analyst is an analytical thinker with a drive to solve problems. They think well on their feet and can be proactive in challenging situations. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are seeking Network Security Analyst candidates with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Network Security Analysts with these core skills. If you want to work as a Network Security Analyst, focus on the following.
- Professional experience developing and implementing new security systems, security programs, protocols and maintenance of existing systems
- Excellent project management and planning skills
- Strong written and oral communication skills, and the ability to communicate technical information to a non-technical audience
- In-depth knowledge of data communications and network experience of operating systems and tools
- Knowledge of a variety of current and emerging technologies
- Knowledge of information security solutions, including data loss prevention, intrusion detection and prevention, network security monitoring and vulnerability management
- Understanding of current threats and trends in Information Security
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Network Security Engineer toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Knowledge of PERL or other shell scripting language
- Familiarity with database construction and analysis.
- Security or network certification
- Privacy certification such as CIPP, CIPM, or CIPT
Network Security Analyst Resources
We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Network Security Analyst. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.
On the Web
Krebs on Security – Keep up to date on the latest in information security with this blog from a former Washington Post report.
Security Bloggers Network – Find out just about anything from this network of blogs and podcasts from over 300 IT security experts.
Naked Security – An informative blog from a respected name in IT security.
National Cyber Security Alliance – A public/private partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, NSCA aims to spread awareness of cyber threats.
Information Systems Security Association – Learn, engage and network with this large national organization of information security professionals.
Network Security Analyst Books
Network Security: A Beginner’s Guide – An introduction into the basics of network security.
Applied Network Security Monitoring: Collection, Detection, and Analysis – A guide to monitoring a system for security threats, a key aspect of a Network Security Analyst’s job.
Network Security Hacks – Tips and tricks to improve network security against modern threats.
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