Information security analysts are the protectors and gatekeepers of information systems. They plan and execute security measures to shield computer systems and networks from cyber-attacks.
Over the years, cyber-attacks and data breaches have been on the rise, putting information security analysts in high demand. The Bureau of Statistics has predicted a 32 % growth in jobs for information security analysts between 2018 to 2028.
From the government to private firms, large and small companies, all rely heavily on information security analysts to protect their computer systems. Let’s take a look at the job profile and responsibilities of an information security analyst.
An information security analyst is an information technology professional who takes measures to protect a company’s sensitive data by staying one step ahead of cyber attackers.
He does this, by coming up with innovative solutions to prevent information from being stolen, damaged, or compromised by hackers.
An information security analyst is employed by government agencies, financial institutions, information technology companies, pharmaceuticals, health organizations, and private companies.
The information security analyst conducts risk assessments, identifying the weaknesses and loops in security. He then goes ahead with defense planning and execution.
That includes installing security software such as firewalls and data encryption systems to protect the computer networks. He must also prepare a management plan that can come into force in case of a cyber-attack.
He must solve the issue and come up with measures to avoid attacks in the future. He is also responsible for promoting information security awareness in the company.
He reports to the managerial team about any security risks and how to go about ensuring better protection of data and network systems. An analyst must also conduct penetration tests.
These are self-planned attacks on the systems to access risks and work to rectify them. Here are some of the qualifications and skills one will require to best fulfill these responsibilities.
An information security analyst must possess a Bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field like computer science, computer programming, or information technology. One can also go ahead and acquire certificates such as the Security+ offered by CompTIA or the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) offered by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).
Also a good option, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is an advanced-level certification offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium. With 2-3 years of work experience in the information technology field, aspirants can move into security analyst roles.
Skills and Pay-scale
An information security analyst must have good analytical skills. He must also be detail-oriented and attentive. Good communication skills can be an added advantage.
The person should be creative and possess excellent problem-solving skills. He should also be organized, research-oriented, and inquisitive by nature.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage of information security analysts was $99,730 in May 2019. The lowest wage was said to be less than $57,810 and the highest 10% earning more than $158,860.
How to Apply and the Best Platforms?
There are many platforms dedicated to hiring information security analysts. Cybersecurityjobs.net is an online platform that offers an array of job listings for reputed companies like IBM, Thomas Reuters, and CAPITA.
Other platforms such as Dice.com, advertise for openings in companies like HCL, COX, Deloitte among others. To apply for a job, one will have to fill up a form and submit a CV and cover letter stating one’s qualifications, certifications, and work experience.
The Bottom Line
If you are an information technology professional or aspire to be one, the job of an information security analyst is a great option to go for! With the rising demand for such professionals, there are endless opportunities.
The job is well-paying, challenging, and offers a chance to be a part of an ever-growing industry!