October marks the start of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a month-long event that was created in partnership by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security. They’re bringing together top minds in cybersecurity to form solutions to security challenges that the digital landscape faces. The job field of cybersecurity has grown significantly in the past 20 years as technology has become more readily available to businesses and individuals. Today we will talk about an important entry-level position in cybersecurity, security analysts.
What does a security analyst do?
The security analyst’s role is vital to keep their organization’s information and digital assets private and secure. Security analysts are responsible for protecting and securing their organization’s computer system, data and network by analyzing the effectiveness of the organization’s security measures. Professionals in this position work with other IT professionals and business administrators to communicate and fix any flaws in their organization’s security systems and keep their systems up to date. Those in this position must navigate data to weed out any suspicious activity to eliminate risks before they happen. Security analysts are also responsible for generating and filing any reports of security breaches, suspicious activity, and general security evaluations.
Details of the job according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Cybersecurity positions are in very high demand as cyberattacks have become more frequent in the past decade. The need for innovative security analysts is on the rise and the employment rate of information security analysts is projected to grow by 31% from 2019 to 2029. This is a much faster growth rate than the average for all occupations. Most professionals in this occupation work full-time at 40 hours per week. Some work more than 40 hours a week regularly or are called in outside of business hours due to emergencies. In May of 2019 the median salary for information security analysts was $99,730 per year.
Becoming a security analyst
Most security analysts are required to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a related field. Some companies or government agencies may require applicants to have an MBA in information systems as well as a couple years of related work experience. Aside from traditional education, obtaining accredited certifications in information security will help applicants stand out to employers. These certifications include CompTIA Security+ or Certified Information Security Manager (CISM). Important qualities of security analysts include being detail oriented and employing both great analytical and problem-solving skills. These skills will help the security analyst detect cyberattacks, assess risks in the systems and fix flaws.
The security analyst position is just one of the many positions that are growing at a fast rate in the field of cybersecurity. With the high demand of the position, jobseekers may find employment opportunities for organizations in just about any field, including government agencies.
Is a security analyst position right for you?