10 Unobvious Facts About Cyber Security Analyst Job

A company’s data is one of its greatest strengths. The value of data that an organization has access to will determine how well it fairs in the market and against its competitors.  A company that understands the power of data will stop at nothing to hire a highly experienced cyber security analyst to help safeguard their data. 

Hackers are working hard every day to find new ways to break into a company’s system and access its private data. In the wrong hands, this data can cause havoc which makes it imperative to protect the data at all costs. This article answers the question ‘How to become a cyber security analyst’ and uncovers everything you need to know about the job. 

Understanding cybersecurity analyst jobs

If you are a tech-savvy person, then cyber security will already sound like fun to you. However, before you decide to pitch your tent in this field, there’s one question you should ask – What does a cyber security analyst do?

In comical terms, cyber security analysts are the guardians of a company’s galaxy. They keep the company safe and fight against the bad guys. In layman’s terms, cyber security analysts take security measures to defend a company’s systems and network from cyber-attacks. 

Hackers are constantly improving and finding new techniques to breach companies’ firewalls. Inversely, cyber security analysts persistently search for ways to fortify companies from these attacks. 

An analyst’s cyber security responsibility includes staying updated with IT trends, reporting security breaches, and creating security measures. Sometimes, it can demand educating other members of staff about security measures. 

Degrees And Certification Needed To Become A Cyber Security Analyst

It takes more than just passion for becoming a cyber security analyst. You need to be well equipped to face the dangers in the cyber world. You must understand that the security of a company rests on your shoulders. 

According to an MIT Technology Review, the number of unfilled cybersecurity roles will be about 3.5 million. The review also adds that less than one in every four applications for this role will be unqualified. This means that the market is empty, and the prospects are unlimited. The U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported that the role of a security analyst is growing very much faster than expected, and the salary expectation is above average. 

This is some motivation if you have the passion to become a security analyst. By now, you must already be curious about how to become a cyber security analyst. There are three steps that you have to take. 

Earn A Degree

A bachelor’s degree in cyber security or any related course is your first step to emerging into the field. Other related courses include information security, computer programming, etc. The degree will teach you how to face the challenge of protecting data and information against modern cyber threats and attacks. You will get a shot at advancing your skills in cyber security and technology generally. 

Most people ask one question before choosing a career in security is, “does cyber security require programming?” Of course, it does, and you will be taught programming during your Bachelor’s degree. You will also be taught other topics like scripting, data management, hacking and countermeasures, penetration testing, and so on.

After your Bachelor’s, you can decide to level up and get a Master’s, or you can take the next step.

Get Certified

Certifications offer a lot of advantages to anyone. It makes you look more qualified for a job and increases your income. Certificates do not take as long as a Bachelor’s degree would. Most certification courses only take a couple of weeks before you are done. Some of these courses will need to be renewed after a period, while some will remain forever. You can also participate in boot camps to learn and network with other professionals like yourself.

Gain Experience

It is often said that repetition is the mother of learning, and experience is the best teacher. A degree and many certifications will not do you any good if you do not practice. You can volunteer to assist companies on projects or embark on a personal project yourself. This will help you to build not only your skill but your resume also. 

Roles And Responsibilities Of A Cyber Security Analyst In A Company

What does a security analyst do in a company? The general expectation from security analysts in a company is to prepare for and defend against cyber attacks. As simple as this sounds, the job description usually varies from one company or sector to another. Here are some of the roles and responsibilities of a cyber security analyst in a company.

Software Management

A security analyst is in charge of the software that a company uses for its operations. It is the role of the analyst to install the software on all the systems and networks properly. After installation, the software needs to be appropriately managed to ensure safety and protection against hacks. From time to time, this software will need to be updated to meet the latest security measures. 

Network Monitoring

A company’s network is where all the activities take place – data transfer, data storage, etc. A security analyst is tasked with the responsibility of monitoring this network to identify any damaging activity. If there is a harmful activity, say a negative code, in the network, the security analyst will respond to it immediately. 

Data Security

There is always room for improvement, and this makes a lot of sense when it comes to security issues. A security analyst constantly needs to find ways to improve the company’s data security. This usually involves teaching fellow employees and other end users about security measures. 

Reporting

Since security analysts are not the supreme individuals in a company, they have to report their findings and suggestions to authorities. These authorities will review the reports and give approvals on issues that need to be resolved. 

Research

To stay relevant in the company and the cyber security world, a security analyst needs to constantly research upcoming new trends, potential threats, and the latest strategies. These researches are essential to protect the organization you work for and become a more recognized authority in the field. 

Skills Required To Get A Cyber Security Analyst Job

To thrive as a security analyst, you must be equipped with some cyber security analyst job requirements. These core skills will help you take care of malware, security breaches and get you any job you want. The more adept you are with these skills, the more qualified you will appear to potential employers. These skills will also make you eligible for high-paying jobs. Some of these skills needed for cyber security include;

Scripting

Scripting is one of the core cyber security requirements. You need to have a vast understanding of programming languages like Java, C++, Python, and so on. These programming languages are used to write and rewrite software, for AI integrations, and for understanding external threats. 

Hacking

To catch a criminal, you need to be able to think like one. Relating this to the world of cyber security, a security analyst must think like a hacker to defend against a hacker. Hacking skills are essential for security analysts to protect, not hack, their companies. A security analyst who knows how to understand will understand how a hacker can get into the company’s network. Through this, the analyst can successfully defend against hacks and keep the company safe.

Networking

A security analyst needs to have an understanding of the company’s network – its strengths and vulnerabilities. This will be very helpful in ensuring the safety of the company’s data. A qualified security analyst should know other networks apart from their company’s network. 

Operating Systems

Companies use different operating systems for their devices depending on their size and security level. As a skilled security analyst, you must know how to use the major types of operating systems – Linux, iOS, Windows, Android, and so on, 

These skills will be included in most cybersecurity job requirements. Ensure that you have these skills then you can be ready to earn as much as other analysts do. 

Salary expectations for Cyber Security Analysts

According to information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest-earning security analysts earn an average of $57,810 yearly. The top pros go home with about $158,860 annually. However, the average annual cyber security analyst salary is $102,210 annually. 

There are a lot of factors that contribute to this amount. If you want to be among the highest earners, you should try to amass experience, degrees, and certificates. People like to compare cyber security vs data analytics. Though they both use programming languages to get the job done, they have a lot of differences. The cyber security analyst’s salary is very much higher than that of a data analyst. 

Unobvious Facts About The Cyber Security Analyst Job

You must be excited to get started as a security analyst. Before kick-starting your career, you must know that the role of a security analyst is more mining than gold. There are different types of jobs in cyber security. Wherever you find yourself, you will be exposed to a lot of breaches. These breaches will arise from various sources and you will always be expected to show up to the task. Here are some unobvious facts about the job of a security analyst.

Be Double-Sure

The Holy Grail of cyber security is information. When you have the correct information, there is no limit to what you can achieve in your job. However, when it comes to security issues, you should not rely solely on information. You can teach employees ways to avoid a data breach. But if or when a data breach occurs, do not assume that the employees complied with your instructions. Sometimes, these employees or end-users might forget or fail to understand the gravity of your teaching. Always make sure that you are sure of something and resist the urge to assume.  

Enact Control

You don’t want to interfere in the affairs of other employees or end-users. Even if you could, it would be too cumbersome. However, you need to make sure that they are taking security measures to keep the company’s system safe. To do this, you need to set up control systems such that people don’t make your job any harder than it should be.  Enforce the use of complex passwords, install systems to monitor security violations, and so on. 

Users are Worse Than Hackers

It is common knowledge that the biggest enemy in the number world is hackers. However, this statement is not entirely true.  Hackers try to spot a weakness in their defense and exploit it. This weakness usually comes from the carelessness or negligence of someone who is in the system. This is why you should always warn employees and other users to be very careful.

Automate Your Process

In your job, you will be dealing with many users, and you cannot possibly attend to them all at once. Using automation will help you to save plenty of hours. It will also help to avoid problems caused by human errors.

Keep Testing

Before you launch any software or update, make sure that you test it repeatedly to be sure that it is working properly and protected against breaches. Even after you are confident, still test again. Since it is artificial, there will always be errors to be found or improvements to be made. Keep testing.

Cybersecurity Is Not Like It Is In The Movies

In the movies, we see security analysts quickly tapping their computers, and in a matter of minutes, they have saved the world. If this is how you imagine your career, you need to quit. The truth about cybersecurity is poorly represented in movies. The picture of a security analyst that you see in the film is a lie. 

The Good Guys Earn Peanuts

What does a security analyst do? Protect against breaches from hackers. It will come as a surprise to know that companies pay hackers huge sums to conduct a successful data breach. However, the analysts who have been protecting the system for years will hope with small paychecks. This is, however, not an excuse to be the bad guy.

You Are Saving People

If it is any consolation, you should know being a security analyst means you are playing your part in saving the world. Not every hero wears a cape. Some are sitting behind their computers, trying to keep people’s information safe and secure. 

You Have Job Security

At the beginning of this article, it was stated that the unfilled job roles in the cyber security field are well in their millions. This means that you can take on more than one job and still have a rest of mind.  

Cybersecurity Is A Journey

The only way that a system can be free from breaches is if it is taken off a network and locked away. As long as the system is on a network, it will be exposed to attack. So as a security analyst, you must constantly update yourself on security measures. This is how you stay relevant in your field.

Conclusion 

If you have the zeal to pursue a career as a cyber security analyst, the time to get started is now. The journey will be anfractuous, but we can help you to make it easier. 

Join hundreds of data analysts and cybersecurity analysts here at the SDS Club. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated with the latest Data Science trends as well. And, most of all, share this article with your friends on social media.

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