Cyber Security Analyst

How to Become a Cyber Security Analyst

What is Cyber security Analyst?

The job of a cyber security analyst is to secure the computers and information of their clients against security threats. Protecting data from dangers such as unauthorized access, data theft, or file damage and loss is the responsibility of security analysts.

Information security is becoming more and more important in today’s world. As long as the US government has so many weaknesses, it’s logical to assume that most businesses have.

Even though leaking sensitive material is virtually always a terrible thing (Edward Snowden would like a word), there is a lot of lucrative demand for cyber security specialists.

Cybersecurity experts, including penetration testers and compliance analysts, are in greater demand. No slowdown is in sight, even with the COVID-19 econoic crisis.

There is a huge demand for Cybersecurity Analysts in the United States and worldwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 31% increase in demand for these occupations over the next 10 years, substantially greater than the national average for other jobs. Below, we explain what Cyber Security Analysts do, how much they make, and more.

Cyber Security Analyst Career Guide

This role requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of information systems and networks, technical experience, and regular cybersecurity training.

Compared to other specialized occupations, cybersecurity is a relatively new field. As a result, there are many routes you can pursue to become a Cybersecurity Consultant. For many Cybersecurity Analyst positions, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a closely related discipline.

However, as the need for cybersecurity professionals grows, employers are becoming more concerned with recruiting individuals who possess the required technical skills and competence, which may be acquired through training and practise.

What does a Cyber Security Analyst do?

Cybersecurity analysts design and implement security measures to safeguard the computer networks and systems and their employees and customers. For instance, government agencies and healthcare organisations frequently demand them to secure personal data, while some other firms, such as those in the e-commerce industry, want them to monitor security systems for threats and breaches.

Cybersecurity analysts guard networks against intruders, attackers, and hackers – in other words, anyone who attempts to penetrate a system to take digital files and information that is not permitted for them to have access to.

For analysts, there are two primary areas of attention.

  1. Preventative measures are taken on the front end, such as installing firewalls and software to safeguard computer networks, and the training of employees on protective measures and techniques to avoid hacking are all important.
  2. The recovery or reporting efforts associated with any security breaches are scrutinized, and events are investigated.

As the number of cyberattacks continues to rise, so does the importance of security analytics and the responsibilities that come with it. To stay one step ahead of hackers, analysts must regularly analyze IT trends, develop contingency plans, investigate suspicious activity, report security breaches, and educate the rest of their organization on security measures.

Keeping track of a company or individual’s security and access is essential. As a systems administrator, analysts can assess the state of a company’s systems and make recommendations to improve them as needed.

  1. Breach prevention is essential. An analyst is an information systems auditor who examines security architecture, security clearances, and other aspects of information systems.
  2. Monitoring networks and administering software are two of my responsibilities. This includes keeping an eye out for new threats and evaluating current systems for faults to prevent a potential security breach.
  3. Performing security assessments is critical. Analysts of threat intelligence are typically entrusted with discovering data vulnerabilities and executing a variety of risk assessments in order to monitor for incoming threats.
  4. Ensure that all requirements are met. Unfortunately, many legislative standards are only met for data protection, and here is where the difficulty lies. Compliance analysts check to see that their organization — or the company with whom they are working — complies with the law.
  5. Developing security plans and communicating them to employees are critical duties. This requires study and the development of processes. This could be as basic as reporting phishing emails or as sophisticated as implementing an enterprise-wide cyber security training program.
  6. Disaster recovery and emergency response are in place. Security Operations Centers (SOC) teams interact with cyber security experts to respond as rapidly as feasible if there is a data breach.

Cyber Security Analyst Roles and Responsibilities

A cybersecurity analyst is often employed by a company, government agency, or non-profit organization and is responsible for ensuring that their employer’s sensitive, proprietary, and personal information is protected from cyber threats.

An information security analyst works as part of a team to identify security flaws in their employer’s security systems and to offer proactive solutions to these flaws. Analysts’ investigations are not limited to external dangers; they routinely examine risks to the company’s internal network and physical offices as well.

The job description for a cybersecurity analyst also involves the examination of reports, data, and analytics to detect suspicious activities and threats. Analysts then utilize the information gathered to design defenses and recommend their companies on which security software to deploy.

The company’s leadership may also seek their input on improving their security. For example, they may set up training programs to help non-technical personnel better understand and comply with the organization’s security standards.

A cybersecurity job description is under the purview of the information technology sector. Professionals with strong technical skills who enjoy developing innovative ideas, coding, and learning about new technology would thrive in this position. It is possible to succeed in the sector only if you thoroughly understand how systems and networks operate. You may be required to perform the following tasks as part of your job responsibilities:

  1. Threats and security breaches in computer networks and systems should be kept an eye out for.
  2. Install, modify, and keep up-to-date security and firewall software.
  3. Examine systems for potential flaws or vulnerabilities.
  4. Ensure all employees adhere to the company’s best security practices by implementing systems and processes.
  5. Produce reports on security events and changes in response strategies.

Even entry-level cybersecurity analysts are expected to be able to do and know a great deal in their field. So, how can you prepare for the role, and what kind of training do you need to be successful in this position? Before beginning your application process, let me go over the most critical qualifications you should have.

Qualifications

Whether it is an entry-level position or not, qualified applicants with the correct mindset and a significant degree of technical knowledge are required for a cybersecurity analyst post. In addition, you will be responsible for defending systems even if you are working in an entry-level role in the cybersecurity area, so having a solid foundation of skills is crucial.

Cybersecurity analysts require more than just technical capabilities; they must also have “soft” skills such as analytical thinking, problem-solving, meticulous attention to detail and critical thinking to succeed in their positions.

Some of the qualities that may be listed on a cybersecurity analyst job description include the following:

  1. The completion of a bachelor’s degree in computer science or an equivalent educational qualification
  2. Working knowledge of information security or other related job experience is required.
  3. Knowledge of penetration testing, network security, and the methodologies used to identify and remedy security problems are required. –
  4. A thorough understanding of security technology, including firewalls, proxies, SIEM, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems (IDS).
  5. On-premise and remote network security must be discovered and highlighted and fix problems and avoid security breaches.
  6. Taking responsibility and being conscientious, which includes effective patch management to minimize business impact while maintaining security protocols up to date
  7. Possessing the capacity to think critically and creatively about security solutions that can keep data safe while allowing a business to thrive.

A college degree is beneficial, but it is not necessarily required for success, especially if you have considerable work experience, a degree in an area unrelated to your current job, or extra specialized training and education.

Approximately one-fifth of companies considered a “cybersecurity or associated undergraduate degree” to be one of the essential qualities for employment, according to the ISC (2) Cybersecurity Workforce Study conducted in 2018.

According to the same researchers, several qualifications are more important than a specialized college degree. This includes knowledge of advanced cybersecurity concepts (identified by 47 percent of those surveyed as the most crucial qualification a candidate can have), cybersecurity certifications (identified by 43 percent), and strong non-technical and thinking skills (identified by 39 percent).

Responsibilities of the cybersecurity analyst

Which responsibilities are essential to the job description of a cybersecurity analyst and why? Although not every cybersecurity analyst position will be the same, most entry-level specialists will do the same fundamental functions.

Investigating security breaches

Data breaches can be extremely damaging to a company’s reputation. When these occurrences occur, they can undermine public and consumer confidence; in the worst circumstances, they can cost thousands or millions of dollars and result in credit card fraud, identity theft, or other serious financial consequences. As a cybersecurity analyst, it is your responsibility to analyze security breaches to identify malevolent hackers and harden your firm’s security.

In the case of a digital crime scene, it is the responsibility of cybersecurity experts to conduct digital forensics. You’ll need to determine whether an actual or attempted breach occurred, search for any residual security holes or malware that may have been left behind, and attempt to retrieve any data that has been lost. If you have a natural aptitude for inquiry, you might find yourself working for a company that specializes in digital forensics in the future.

Collaborating with Others to Identify Vulnerabilities

What is the role of a cybersecurity analyst?

When it comes to cybersecurity, one of the most crucial components of the job is identifying vulnerabilities so that they may be fixed before a breach occurs. You may want to conduct a vulnerability assessment to discover potential threats to your firm’s security. During this assessment, you’ll draw attention to the data and assets at risk and the factors that could lead to a future breach.

Working collaboratively is vital in this situation – not only with other IT team members but also with other non-technical staff members whose jobs could be jeopardized by a security breach. Cybersecurity analysts must keep open communication channels to teach their non-cyber colleagues what they need to know about updated cybersecurity regulations and how to protect themselves from outside threats.

Using Ethical Hacking Techniques

Another item in the toolbox of a security analyst’s arsenal is ethical hacking. When practicing this technique, cybersecurity professionals are not attempting to violate security to steal data for themselves; rather, they are attempting to uncover security flaws and remedy them before bad actors can exploit them.

When it comes to solving problems and untangling difficult security concerns, penetration testing can be one of the fascinating aspects of the work for those who thrive under pressure. Using software applications or your manual coding abilities, you may, in essence, hack and abuse your system to figure out how to make it work better.

For penetration testing, you might employ Kali Linux and Metasploit tools, robust software applications that reveal and probe vulnerabilities across a wide range of operating systems. While Security professionals developed Kali Linux, Metasploit is used by both cybercriminals and ethical hackers to identify the same holes — with opposing objectives — to compromise a system.

How to Set Up and Use Security Programs

Managing, deploying, and maintaining security software is crucial for the cybersecurity analyst’s job description and responsibility.

An information security analyst might install system-wide software to improve email and login security, prevent malware from entering into a network from a single machine, improve security for mobile devices, or strengthen the network’s shield against unwelcome intrusions. Additionally, you can utilize specialized tools to better your penetration testing, protect your company’s website, and monitor and control network traffic.

It is also the responsibility of a cybersecurity analyst to guarantee that only those individuals who should be granted access to sensitive data do so.

One of the most important components of this endeavor is the administration of identities and access rights (IAM). As part of the implementation of identity and access management, analysts ensure that each user on the network is adequately identified and that their network access levels are what they need to be while also reducing the system’s exposure to security risks.

In recent years, the Most devastating ransomware attacks resulted from unintentional malware downloads by employees who lack technology. Implementing proper identification and access management can help mitigate this danger.

Developing and implementing security protocols that apply to the entire organization

Developing cybersecurity rules for an entire firm and its digital environment is part of your job responsibilities as a cybersecurity analyst. In addition, cybersecurity and protection are highly valued in systems administration and network management positions nowadays.

Because security affects everyone, regardless of how technical or non-technical their roles are, security standards must be understood and adhered to by everyone in a company. As a cybersecurity analyst, you’ll be responsible for developing these protocols, considering that a network is only as secure as its weakest security links.

How to become a Cyber Security Analyst?

Steps to Become a Cybersecurity Analyst:

Step 1: To work as a cybersecurity analyst, you must first get a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, information technology, computer science, or a similar discipline.

Step 2: Participate in an internship to gain hands-on experience in a computer-related industry.

Step 3: Obtain unique qualifications by completing a training program.

Step 4: Look for an entry-level position in general information technology or security.

Let’s explain it in brief.

Step 1: Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree

Although an associate’s degree in computer science and information technology, computer or software engineering, information assurance, or a related field may be sufficient for some cybersecurity analyst positions, most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and information technology, computer or software engineering, information assurance, or a related field.

The curriculum for a bachelor’s degree in computer science is nearly identical to a bachelor’s degree in information security and assurance. All students in all degrees must learn basic database and programming skills before moving on to subjects like cryptography, artificial intelligence and ethical hacking.

Students enrolled in a cybersecurity analyst degree program will learn about the many strategies utilized in information systems and data protection. Additionally, cybersecurity analysts are educated in business and technological capabilities, such as system administration and database applications and data recovery and disaster recovery. Coursework focuses on digital forensics, criminal psychology, and policy analysis to understand information technology security.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer forensics and forensic analysis, cybersecurity analysis, or information security analysis can pursue entry-level positions.

Step 2: Participate in an internship.

While pursuing your bachelor’s degree, you may be able to supplement your income by working part-time as an intern. This has numerous advantages for your career;

  1. It allows you to obtain job experience, build industry connections
  2. Have your questions addressed by an industry professional
  3. Learn first-hand by working with experts in the field, and
  4. It also provides you with the opportunity to earn some additional money.

It is usually preferable to have some experience, even if you can fill a position with no prior experience. Many businesses would not hire individuals who do not have at least some prior experience. Consult with the career counselor at your school for assistance in obtaining an internship job. Cybersecurity experts can point you toward the several rewarding opportunities available to you based on your interests.

Step 3: Acquire credentials through accreditation.

Certification can be a time-consuming and costly process. For example, CompTIA Security+ certification costs approximately $320 for the exam and anywhere from $750 to $1,700 for the GSEC certification. Still, they are well worth it when you consider that the credentials you will obtain will help you stand out from the competition and allow you to negotiate a higher starting salary than you would otherwise receive.

Furthermore, if you are already employed, your company may be willing to cover the costs of the exam because they will see you as a more valuable employee due to the information and experience you will gain as a result of acquiring credentials. It’s also crucial to maintain your expertise up to speed on the latest developments. Many qualifications, particularly in cybersecurity analysts, require renewal after a certain number of years. In addition, recertification is required for certain certifications, such as the CISSP and Security+.

For cybersecurity professionals, there are a variety of certifications available, including:

Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification (CISSP) Information Security Manager (CISM) certification (CISM) GIAC Security Essentials (GIAC Security Essentials) (GSEC) GIAC Penetration Tester is a type of penetration tester (GPEN) Ethical hacker with certification (CEH) CompTIA Security+ and EC-Council Certified Security Analyst certifications are available (ECSA)

Step 4: Identify a Location

Once you have obtained all of the prerequisites, including a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related discipline, some work experience gained through an internship program (along with hands-on training), and the certifications of your choosing, you can pursue a career as a cybersecurity analyst. For those who attend schools with strong job placement programs, you may already have a position lined up for you that is simply waiting for you to graduate, or at the very least, a series of hopeful interviews scheduled.

Security clearances are required for anyone working for a government or military organization working with classified information. Several different departments grant facility and personnel security clearances; however, the “Department of Defense” is the agency that issues the vast majority of them (DOD).

Additionally, the paperwork and procedures differ depending on the type of clearance obtained. The clearance procedure can take anything from three months to a year, and it does not begin until you have been hired for employment and have been offered a conditional job opportunity. You will first be required to submit clearance documents, after which you will be required to participate in a background check inquiry.

What is the skill required to become a Cyber Security Analyst?

A cyber security analyst must possess diverse abilities to effectively deal with malware and security breaches. The following are the most critical skills for a cyber-security analyst:

Knowledge of scripting and computer programming languages such as Java or C++ is desirable. This enables cyber security analysts to decode encoded threats and modify software if necessary, allowing them to better protect their clients.

Hacking

Cyber security analysts must think like hackers to comprehend the hacking process. This will allow them to better prepare for cyber assaults and prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Networking

Cyber security analysts must have a broad range of experience dealing with a wide range of networks and a thorough understanding of how these factors might affect a company’s overall security.

Operating Systems

Operating Systems are a type of software that allows you to run programs on a computer.

Cyber security analysts must be familiar with working on a wide range of operating systems, including Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android, among other things.

Security Analyst Sample Job Description

Due to the increases in the frequency of cyber assaults and threats in the first nine months of this year, 7.9 billion records were exposed due to data breaches, according to RiskBased Security. Additionally, in 2018, publicly accessible records increased by 112 percent.

Jobs for cyber security analysts are expected to expand up to 31% between 2019 and 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. A cyber security analyst’s job description may fluctuate depending on the business and industry in which they work. However, there are several characteristics shared by all of them that are listed below:

  1. Configure antiviral systems and consoles and oversee the maintenance of day-to-day operations and data structure.
  2. Conduct a threat and risk assessment and develop viable solutions for the issues identified.
  3. Accumulate and evaluate data to identify and remove risks as well as performance and capacity issues
  4. Create tools and actively participate in security architecture reviews to ensure effectiveness.
  5. Prepare security features and procedures by designing and developing them.
  6. Install, configure, and maintain security software solutions.
  7. Designing secure concepts and optimizing new technological services are two important tasks.

What is Cyber Security Analyst Salary 2022?

Cyber Security Analyst salary

The continuous growth of the business and the constant demand for cybersecurity analysts, among other roles in Information Technology, are just a few of the numerous factors that contribute to this career’s high job satisfaction rating. This grade is based on various factors considered when choosing a professional path, including general interest, curiosity, growth prospects, and, most crucially, salary. General interest, curiosity, growth prospects, and salary are all factors.

When looking into the average income of a cybersecurity analyst, there are several things to consider. First, the compensation that can be expected will vary depending on qualifications, professional experience, location, and amount of labor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, the median annual pay for Information Security Analysts is $99,730 per annum. However, it was $57,810 for the lower 10th percentile salary, common for entry-level occupations, while the highest 90th percentile salary ranged up to $158,860.

Jobs as a cybersecurity analyst are difficult, but they are also in high demand.

Overall, it is regarded as a high-ranking job in many respects, so if you are interested in pursuing this career path, be sure to examine the amount of preparation required and the various options available to you before making a decision. However, if you are passionate and dedicated, this career allows you to rise faster in seniority levels, among its many other benefits.