How to Get Started as an
Information Security Analyst
Refine Your Skills and Remain Relevant
Do you have a passion for technology? Do you enjoy working with software and solving problems? A career as an information security analyst could be right for you. Information security analysts are one of the last lines of defense against cyber attacks and security breaches.
This career takes anywhere from four to eight years of schooling, but the salary is above average. If you’re interested, continue reading to learn more about information security analysts. You can become an information security analyst and stop cyber attacks for a living.
What Is an Information Security Analyst?
An information security analyst is a tech professional who implements software and firewalls. They do this to protect an organization’s networks and computer systems. They work to protect against cyber attacks and security breaches.
How Does Information Security Analysis Relate to Data Science?
Data science helps information security analysts by providing information to help counter cyber attacks. The insights gathered by data scientists allow for innovation and adaptations to provide online security.
How Long Does It Take to Become an Information Security Analyst?
Most employers require their information security analysts to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field like a computer science, information assurance, or programming. This typically takes about four years.
Some prefer applicants with a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security. This additional education takes about two years beyond the undergraduate level. Beyond this, many analysts need to have previous work experience in a related field.
Where to Study Information Security
Where you study will depend on what your goals are. Most information security analysts need to have a bachelor’s degree, but you may pursue other education options as well.
Information Security Analyst Community Colleges
To become an information security analyst, you need to pursue a degree in computer science or another tech-related field. Many community colleges offer certificates and associate degrees in these fields.
Attending community college is a more affordable and accessible option that can help you determine if information security is the right degree for you. Certificate programs take three months to a year to complete, and associate degrees usually take two years to complete.
Information Security Analyst Universities
Most employers prefer candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree. Attending a university is a great way to expand your education and become more eligible for jobs in information security. You can earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security, Computer Science, or another tech-related field. This will provide you with the necessary skills for this occupation.
Information Security Analyst Coding Bootcamps
Bootcamps are becoming a popular way to continue education. There are many tech-related bootcamp offerings on the market. These are an excellent way to strengthen your skills. The length of these programs ranges from a few weeks to one year. Many bootcamps have online and self-paced learning options, making them accessible to almost anyone.
Information Security Analyst Online Courses
An alternative option for your information security education is through online courses. These courses are usually based on specific topics. These courses are often the least expensive. However, attending online courses requires students to teach themselves and stick to a schedule.
Most online courses don’t offer career services or job guarantees. However, online courses allow more flexibility with your learning schedule. This aspect can be helpful for those who pursuing education while working.
How to Become an Information Security Analyst A Step-by-Step Guide
The best way to become an information security analyst is by pursuing higher education. Below is a step-by-step guide to becoming an information security analyst.
Explore the field
Before you start your career, you should make sure you’re ready to commit. You can start by taking free online courses or talking to people who already work in information security. This can help you decide whether this career is right for you.
Earn a degree
A degree in information technology or another computer-related field prepares future analysts by providing them with essential knowledge. You can earn an associate degree, but a bachelor’s is better for this field.
Gain real-world experience
This can be done through internships or jobs. Gaining real-world experience will help you to advance further, especially if you wish to pursue a managerial role.
It can be helpful to earn professional certifications to stay on top of current security issues and solutions. They are not necessary, but they will look good on your resume and can help you get a job.
Pursue a master’s degree
This extension of education can allow you to climb higher in your career. Candidates with this degree can take on leadership roles in the information security scene.
Entry-Level Information Security Analyst Job Requirements
Most information security analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. It may also help if a candidate pursues a master’s degree, but this is not necessary for an entry-level position. In addition, most hiring teams prefer experience in related occupations.
Information Security Analyst Salary and Job Outlook
Information security analysts earn an average salary of $103,590, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is almost three times the national average. The BLS also reports that employment for information security analysts is predicted to increase 31 percent from 2019 to 2029. This is very fast compared to other occupations.
Information security analysts will likely be in high demand now and in the future. As our world becomes increasingly digital, there will be an even greater need for information security analysts. You should become a cybersecurity engineer or information security analyst to enter this lucrative field.
Example Information Security Analyst Job Interview Questions
- How do you assess a company’s security needs?
- Describe a time you discovered and resolved a security weakness.
- What programming languages do you know?
- Have you used XSS (cross-site scripting)?
What Does an Information Security Analyst Do?
Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures using software and firewalls. This helps defend against cyber attacks. Listed below are a few typical tasks for information security analysts.
Monitors Security Breaches
Information security analysts ensure the safety of an organization’s computer network and system. They keep an eye out for any breaches or potential breaches of security. When they locate a violation, it is their job to investigate the issue and work with colleagues to resolve the problem.
Prepares Bug Reports
Information security analysts prepare reports to document security breaches. These include the extent of the breach and the damage it has caused. They are passed off to developers to fix the issue.
Develops Security Standards
Organizations must maintain security standards and practices. Often, information security analysts help to develop these standards and best practices. Security standards are techniques set up to protect against attacks and breaches.
Essential Information Security Analyst Skills and Certifications
Some certain skills and certifications help information security analysts to succeed at their jobs. Below are some recommended skills and certifications to look into.
Information Security Analyst Skills
Organization is key to maintaining a streamlined and secure network. Information security analysts need to have good organizational skills to ensure quality plans and strategies to defend against attacks.
Information security analysts may have to research how to protect their computer systems. They also do research when it comes to troubleshooting issues. This helps them to find possible solutions and be better prepared for the future.
An information security analyst is one member of a team that works to make sure a site or network is functioning properly. As such, they must be able to collaborate well with others, take feedback, and help other teammates excel.
Information Security Analyst Certifications
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, professional certifications may help you stand out. Some employers require certifications. Below are some of the most common certifications for information security.
Certified Ethical Hacker
This focuses on something called penetration testing. Penetration testing is a simulated attack against your system to check for weak spots and issues. This certification is a way to test your skills in realistic simulations. This is a great certification to start with.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional
This is a more advanced certification. Completing this certification demonstrates knowledge of design, engineering, and implementation of security systems. What you learn through this certification will help prepare you to implement strategies for information security.
Certified Information Security Manager
This certification focuses on security-aligned skills from a managerial perspective. Such a role requires both assurance and risk management. The principles taught during this certification are very practical.
Reasons to Become an Information Security Analyst in 2021
There are many reasons to become an information security analyst. At the top of the list is job security. As individuals, businesses, and companies move to become more digital, there will be an increasing need to ensure that private information is kept safe online. This means that, as an information security analyst, job opportunities should increase.
Information Security Analyst FAQ
Can information security analysts work from home?
Depending on the company, you may be able to work from home as an information security analyst. This varies per assignment and company policy.
What industries hire information security analysts?
Most industries need to ensure the security of their data. Those companies with more private information, like financial institutions and health care, may be more likely to hire these individuals.
How many hours do information security analysts work per week?
Most information security analysts work a typical 40-hour work week. However, depending on project deadlines, more time may be needed.
What other information security jobs are there?
In information security, you can work as a cyber security engineer, ethical hacker, and penetration tester. There are many lucrative careers in this field.