Information security analysts a serious job profile. Over the past few years, there has been a steady rise in companies hiring individuals for this role. An information security analyst is responsible for taking all the measures necessary to protect the computer network and information of an organization. The role includes planning, implementing, and monitoring security measures. As an information security analyst, you may also be required to implement security controls to protect the digital files and respond to virus attack and other types of network-based security breaches.
This job is particularly suitable for individuals who have an affinity for computers and the latest cutting-edge technology. If you get around networks and systems with ease, you should consider pursuing this career. Information security analyst is a highly lucrative job profile as more companies are looking for individuals who can counter the growing complexity and frequency of cyber attacks such as ransomware attacks.
Role of Information Security Analysts
Information Security Analysts occupy various roles in financial institutions, computer companies, and consultancy firms. The primary role of the analyst is to monitor the network for the slightest incidence of a security breach. After identifying the breach, the job responsibility includes investigating and neutralizing the threat. Analysts use various security systems and software to protect the network and the data within the network such as firewalls, secure socket layers, and data encryption technology. In the event of an attack, they document the breach for further study and better protection.
Other duty that falls in the job profile of an information security analyst is conducting security penetration tests to evaluate the effectiveness of the security system in place and to detect any security flaw that can be exploited by a malicious hacker. After performing a complete inspection of an organization’s network, they develop plans and set guidelines to protect the network and the digital information of a company.
Qualification of Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts come from a computer background with a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, or related areas. Traditionally, people from these backgrounds took the role of a security analyst; however, these days there are schools and institutions that offer programs in information security offering a direct entry into the occupation.
As businesses are shifting to the cloud and storing a majority of their data off-site on networks, the requirement for employees with a master’s degree in information system is increasing.
Master’s degree in information system includes courses in both computer science and business. Most of the information security analysts today have experience in other information technology roles such as database administrators, network administrators, etc.
Find your Path in Information Securities Career
As you begin the information security career, setting out short-term and long-term goals can go a long way in actually realizing what you want. You should stick to your interest, experience, and the opportunity.
The Initial Stage
Most of the information security professionals come from a general information technology background. After gaining some experience in the industry, you can go for an entry-level certification, which will reflect your expertise and help secure the first job.
Progressing to an Associate
After having dedicated some time at an entry-level role and gained experience and expertise, you will be ready to progress to more advanced roles such as an associate. At this stage, you can again appear for higher-level certification that validates your skills in the field.
Becoming a Professional Security Analyst
Once you have gained several years of experience as an information security analyst, you can move to specific areas, such as audit, forensics, administration, or management. Again, at this stage, you should take some certifications to sharpen your skills in the particular field of your choosing. These certifications should help enhance the skill and knowledge in the field.
Expert Information Security Analyst
After reaching the top in the field of information security, several individuals who have demonstrated leadership skills throughout their career go on to secure the chief executive position in an organization.
Salaries of Information Security Analysts
In the United States alone, there are approximately105,250 information security analysts with 11,030 new jobs created every year. Similar to any other job in the information technology space, the experience is a major deciding factor in the salary offered to an individual. Other than that, the company, location, industry, and benefits provided also determine the salary of information security analysts. Throughout the US, information security analysts earn $58,300 – $101,600 per year.
Why should you Choose Information Security as a Career
Apart from the monetary benefits and the possibility to reach the top executive level in a company, a career in information security offers several other benefits. Bureau of Labor Statistics states information security to grow by 37 percent through 2022.