Cyber Security Analysts: What do they do and Entry Level

Are you interested in pursuing a career in cyber security or you are in interested in knowing how much cyber security analyst are paid and how you can upgrade yourself in this field of study? This article is for you.

With the much projected growth in salaries for cybersecurity analyst by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is enough to catch anyone’s attention to this field. But certain things might need to be taking into consideration before you can thing of pursuing a career in cyber security.

We have gathered extensive research data from a top leading cybersecurity analysts and have broken it down into details for you to understand who a cyber security analyst his and how to get established in this growing field.

These are the following things you are going to learn in this article:

  • Who is a cyber security analyst?
  • How to become a cyber security analyst.
  • Cyber Security Analyst roles and responsibilities.
  • Cyber Security Analyst Job description.
  • Cyber Security Analyst skills and experience
  • Cyber Security Analyst salary.
  • Cyber Security Analyst Certifications.
  • Conclusion
  • FAQ

 Who is a cyber security analyst?

who is a cyber security analyst

A cyber security analyst also called information security analyst is someone that is tasked with protecting a company’s network and systems from cyber-attacks. They keep track of threats and monitor their organization’s networks for any breaches in security.

Cyber security analyst also plan for any form trouble within the databases by creating contingency plans will secure the databases information in case of any breaches, Since cyber-attacks are constantly using new tools and strategies, cyber security analysts need to be up to date with tools and weapons this same hacker make use of.

Cyber security analysts also make sure they educate members of the organizations they belong to about security risks and ways to avoid security breaches within the company. Such case may be educating the members of an organization on the risks of using unidentified wireless network to reduce the risk of being attacked by a ransomware or a worm that can spread through that wireless network.

A cyber security analyst also installs firewall and encryption tools, reporting breaches and weak spots, researching IT trends, and also initiating security attacks just to find potential vulnerabilities.

How to become a cyber security analyst

If you already love this new and exciting skill and are interested in becoming a cyber security analyst, here is a bit of how to get started. Because this is a fairly new and ever growing field of study, it career path is not as straight forward as most field of study.

Some people actually started out pursuing other related field like computer science or computer engineering before later making the transition to a cyber security field. Like myself I have a diploma in computer science and later decided to pursue a course in cyber security which I learnt online, but there are colleges and universities that offer a bachelor’s degree in cyber security and most companies do require you to have a bachelor’s degree in cyber security.

Aspiring cyber security analyst should also know that there are plenty of information security certifications out there that can boost your portfolio and standard to potential employers. Few of these certifications are CompTIA Cyber security Analyst (CySA+), Certified Information System Auditor. This is why I have put together a generalized step that you should take to pursue a career in cyber security.

  • Research: The first step to take is to map out the kind of education and certification you want to take because this will also affect the kind of work you will end up doing as a security expert. It is best to do your research before you begin learning any new skill.
  • Learning: According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) most cyber security analyst have a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a related field of study such as computer science, mathematics, or engineering. But in some few occasions like mine, you can decided to skip trying to get a degree in cyber security and just pursue a certification in cyber security. There are reputable online classes that do offer certifications in cyber security. Some of which are Cybrary, Udemy and Microsoft. These few are well known all over the world for their intense and comprehensive courses in cyber security.
  • Certification: If you are trying to get an entry level position as a cyber security analyst, you would need a certification in cyber security. When pursuing a career in cyber security it is best to pay attention to what kind of certifications are required for various jobs within the field.
  • Network: One of the most important part of becoming a cyber security analyst is developing a professional network. Sign up of to a social network like LinkedIn, or join a cyber security facebook group. This will help you keep track of latest trends and opportunities within the space.
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Cyber Security Analyst roles and responsibilities

Cyber security analyst role and responsibilities may defer between workplaces, companies and sectors, but the general idea remains the same. Here are a few cyber security analyst roles and responsibilities.

Software Creation/Management

A cyber security analyst develops security software’s and is responsible for installing, managing and updating those software’s within the organization. The cyber security analyst is also tasked with making sure the software’s are adequate for securing the company’s servers and databases.

Monitor Networks

Cyber security analyst monitors networks and takes records of activities performed within the networks and also identify fraudulent activities within the network and respond to them accordingly.

Creating Security plans

A cyber security analyst provides the best data security practices for employees and end users.

Reporting

Cyber security analyst documents security issues and take measure to address them.

Research

A cyber security analyst research upcoming trends and tools in technology and security. They stay up to date with cybercrimes and attacks schemes by hackers in other to come up with preventive strategies.

Cyber Security Analyst Job description

With the expected projections in the growth of cyber security analyst job which is expected to be 31 percent by 2029 is only prove that cyber security is growing faster than any other occupation. A job description may differ from one organization to another. However, here are some common job descriptions of cyber security analysts:

  • Design and develop security software and procedures
  • Integrate and develop security software solutions
  • Collect and analyze data to prevent risk and increase system performance.
  • Conduct threat and risk analysis and provide solution to them.
  • Create tools that would be used within the system architecture.

Cyber Security Analyst skills and experience

cybersecurity skills and experience

A cyber security analyst skills and experience required will differ widely from job to job. Some cyber security analyst job openings are looking for people with specific skills while some are looking for a generalized skill sets required for a cyber security analyst.

For aspiring security analyst and early career professionals, the most important thing to take note of is to study the different job descriptions at various kind of employers. Your research should begin to reveal a pattern to how current skills and experience map to opportunities. Understanding the current job market will affect the kind of cyber security certifications and degree to pursue.

Below are the general required skill and experience of a cyber security analyst:

  • Programming Experience: Cyber security analysts are charged with developing custom made security software’s, it makes sense that cyber security analyst are expected to have a good knowledge in programming. They are required to have basic understanding in programming languages like C, C++, PHP, Perl, Python and Java. These programming languages will give a cyber security analyst an edge. Note you are required to know at least one of the listed programming languages.
  • Analytics: Cyber security analyst work with data and they are required to be able to take in information and from many inputs make decisions.
  • Detailed-Oriented: Cyber security analyst are expected to be very detailed oriented. Because for someone who will be writing lines of codes and network commands, tjhis could be a major advantage to him.
  • Quick-thinker: As cyber security analyst, you are expected to be able to think on your feet and make decisions in split seconds. This could come in handy when preventing a threat breach of a server or database.
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Other required skills include, Linux, Network security, Project Management, Cryptography, Vulnerability assessment, Penetration testing, information system, etc.

Cyber Security Analyst salary

A cyber security analyst salary depends on a wide range of factors including experience, qualifications, skills, sectors and locations. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a cyber security analyst is $99,730. Check out our article to know more about a cyber security analyst salary .

Cyber Security Analyst Certification                                                   

There are a number of certifications for both entry level and experienced cyber security analysts.

  • Certified Ethical Hacker Certification

A Certified Ethical Hacker certification is a certification that allows the lawful use of your hacking skills and knowledge to improve an organizations security. This certification validates that you have the skill and knowledge to look for weaknesses within a company’s server or database.

  • CISSP Certification

A Certified Information System Security Professional or CISSP certification is a well known information security certification by the International al information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC). It approves you in using your skill in designing, building and maintaining a secure business environment using globally approved information security standards.

  • CISA Certification

A certified Information System Auditor or CISA Certification was issued by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). This globally recognized certification validates your skills in auditing, control and securing information systems.

Conclusion

As the digital transformation across industries and sectors grows, cyber security analyst will continue to be in high demand. If you have decided to pursue this field of study and you now have a clear understanding on how to proceed and the requirement needed, go online and pick your desirable certification course and I wish you the best

FAQ

  • Is Cyber security hard?

Cyber security degrees tend to be a little challenging than other related field but with constant practice and determination it shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Do cyber security analyst code?

Most entry level cyber security analyst don’t but as you progress in the field the more you begin to write and interpret more lines of code.

  • Does cyber security pay well?

With an average salary of $99,000 for an entry level job, yes it pays well.

  • Is python needed for cyber security?

Yes, python is actually an important programming language for cyber security as it performs a lot in terms of security.

  • Can I teach myself cyber security?
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Yes, many professional cyber security analyst are self-taught.