When you learn how to become an information security analyst, you’ll realize this is an important career. Found in the IT sector, working as an information security analyst is the right career path for the right person.
You will likely need the right education and on-the-job training. Of course, before you choose this career path, you should know the job duties. Let’s look at the job duties and the steps to become an information security analyst.
Job Duties of an Information Security Analyst
As an information security analyst, you will be a professional that protects data for businesses. You might work for a small or large company. With cyber-attacks on the rise, information security analysts are becoming more and more important.
You will likely work with other IT security professionals. Some of the common job duties you will take on include:
- Keeping company firewalls updated
- Properly managing the firewalls for your company
- Controlling the credentialing and access to files
- Updating software and networks
- Using ethical hacking to look for vulnerabilities
- Communicating IT issues to the management of the company
- Perform audits of the network system
You will be the first line of defense for your company. If a cyber-attack or data breach happens, you will be the one there to help keep it from becoming a huge issue. Data breaches have cost companies millions and can hurt the reputation of the business.
How to Become an Information Security Analyst in 4 Steps
Step #1 – Choose the Industry You Prefer
You will want to start by choosing the right industry for you. Each industry is a bit different and will have different security rules. Choosing the right industry will help you get the best training possible to become an information security analyst.
Step #2 – Get Your Bachelor’s Degree
For most information security analyst positions, you will need a bachelor’s degree. This degree should be in cybersecurity or a similar major. Many online and offline universities will offer the right degree program for your needs.
Step #3 – Gain Certifications
After getting your degree, you can add additional credentials to your resume. With the right certifications, you will have a better chance of landing a position as an information security analyst.
Top certifications for this career include:
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)– This certification shows that you know how to manage cloud security for a business and test for vulnerabilities.
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)– When you earn the Ethical Hacker certification, you will be better equipped to find vulnerabilities for your employer.
- Certified Information System Auditor (CISA)– With the CISA, you will be able to perform security audits and handle risk management.
- GAIC Information Security Fundamentals (GISF)– This certification offers a great choice for those looking to learn cloud security, forensics, and hacking techniques. If you’re new to cybersecurity, this is a good certification for you.
With the right certifications, you can build a resume employers will love. Most certifications can be completed online. You will likely need to pass an exam to complete your certification.
Step #4 – Get Your Master’s Degree (Optional)
You don’t have to have a master’s degree to become an information security analyst. However, it can help you learn a better position and make more money. A master’s program will last about two years and can be completed online. It can help to take courses in marketing, business, human resources, and finance, as well.
Common Skills You Need to Become an Information Security Analyst
If you want to become an information security analyst, you need to have the right skill. As your gaining the education and training you need, make sure to work on developing the following skills:
- Problem-solving skills – You will need to be able to analyze issues and come up with sustainable solutions. Problem-solving skills are vital for this career.
- Security risk management – You will need to learn how to assess security risks to work as an information security analyst.
- Ethical hacking – Learning how to use the skill of ethical hacking will help you find vulnerabilities. One of the best ways to beat hackers is to hack in yourself and then secure the way you were able to get into the system.
- Cybersecurity expertise – Of course, you will need to become an expert when it comes to cybersecurity. As an information security analyst, you will be an expert in cybersecurity.
- Communication skills – You will need to communicate with others in the IT department and with management. This is a vital skill if you want to be successful as an information security analyst.
- Network security management – You will also need to become skilled with network security for this career.
These skills are vital for those trying to become an information security analyst. If you want to be successful, develop the skills on this list as you gain education and training.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an Information Security Analyst
How much can I make as an information security analyst?
Indeed.com puts the average salary for an information security analyst at nearly $85K per year. You can also earn a bonus each year of around $5,000. Top employers will pay more than $125K for this position.
Your location will also play a big factor in how much you earn. Washington DC is the highest paying location with Atlanta, New York City, Irvine, and Boston all paying above the national average.
If you have the right skills, you can earn more as an information security analyst, too. Hadoop, C/C++, XML, Perl, and Shell Scripting can all add to your salary.
What type of benefits will I get as an information security analyst?
Your actual benefits will depend on your employer. Common benefits include health, disability, dental, vision, and life insurance. It’s also common to get a 401(k) and some employers offer matching. With some employers, you might get tuition reimbursement, commuter assistance, or even access to an on-site gym.
What type of hours do information security analysts work?
You will likely work a typical 40-hour workweek. The schedule you work will be similar to a 9-to-5 schedule on a daily basis. Sometimes, you may work some overtime, especially when dealing with a cyberattack. If something is time-sensitive, you may have to work longer hours.
What type of industries hire information security analysts?
You will find this type of position in many different industries. It’s common to work for a financial institution, a governmental organization, or in healthcare as an information security analyst. It’s also common to find this type of position in the insurance and education sectors. Many other industries will also hire someone for this position.
Do I need a college degree to work as an information security analyst?
While you might be able to get a job with just the right certifications, those types of jobs are few and far between. When you want to become an information security analyst, you will likely need a college degree.
About 75% of the people filling these positions have a bachelor’s degree. Another 9% have a Master’s Degree and 7% have an Associate’s Degree. Only about 8% don’t have a college degree and only about 1% have a Doctoral Degree.
Can I work from home as an information security analyst?
In many cases, you can work from home. It will depend on your company and what type of access they are willing to give you. Due to the recent world crisis, many more information security analysts are working from home now.
Is this career in high demand?
Yes, and as cyber-attacks continue to rise, this will become an even more important career. This position is expected to grow by about 32% over the next ten years. This makes it one of the fastest-growing careers you can enter into.
What type of positions might I work in before becoming an information security analyst?
If you want to become an information security analyst, you may end up working in one of the following positions first:
- Security Specialist – An entry-level role that will allow you to monitor the networks and databases of a company, as a security specialist, you can gain the necessary experience.
- Incident Analyst – This type of position will help to address actual security breaches.
- Penetration Tester – If you work in this position, you will try to breach the system as an ethical hacker.
- Information Security Engineer – You will be in charge of executing a digital security plan if you enter this position.
- Information Security Architect – With the right experience, you can work in this position and help to create security systems.
Some of these positions will get you started, while others will come later in your career as promotions.
Finding the right career for you is important. You will need to learn how to become an information security analyst if you want to enter this type of career. Use these steps above and you can enjoy a very rewarding career.