How to Begin a Professional Career as Information Security Analysts

How to Begin a Professional Career as Information Security Analysts
Information Security Analysts: A Quick Look
Median Salary $86.17 per year
$41.43 per hour
Entry-level Education Bachelor’s of Science Degree
On-the-job training Less than 5 Years
Primary employers Government Agencies, Healthcare Companies, Financial & Banking Services
Number of positions (U.S.) 75,100
Job Growth (2012-2022) 37% (Incredibly faster than the national average)
New positions (2012-2022) 27.400

Information Security Analyst Job Description

An information security analyst job description can vary depending on an employer. They are responsible for maintaining the integrity and security of data. With cyber-attacks on the rise and hackers trying to steal valuable information from large businesses, security analysts have become extremely valued for their abilities of keeping an organization’s data secure. Read more

Information Security Analyst Salary

May 2012 data from the BLS regarding the median yearly information security analyst salary indicates these professionals earn about $86,170. Like most professions that have anything to do with the field of IT, this salary is considered quite respectable. Again, like most professions, the type of employer affects one’s wages. Read more

How to Become an Analyst

If you want to learn how to become an Analyst, there are a few things you should consider. First of all, you should understand what exactly the position entails. In most situations, information security analysts will evaluate and analyze the level of security for a company’s data. To learn more details about How to Become an Analyst, check out the rest of the article.

IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN FINDING A DEGREE PROGRAM TO BECOME AN INFORMATION SECURITY ANALYST, CLICK HERE.

Job Outlook for Information Technology Professions

The job outlook for information technology professions one of the brightest futures ahead of it, in terms of new employment opportunities by 2022, with a job growth rate of 37%. Read more

Information Security Analyst Salary

Data collected in May 2012 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics points towards a median annual wage of $86,170 for security analysts. An Information Security Analyst Salary is generally considered good, as compared to those of other industries. Median annual wage means that half the data analysts in the study earn less and the other half earns more. Studies also show that the lowest 10% analysts earn around $49,960 while the top 10 percent earn as much as $135,600 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also revealed statistics for median annual wages according to different sectors. For this purpose the top four industries were selected. Finance and Insurance companies pay $92,080 every year to have their data protected. Data analysts for insurance companies earn around $91,440 annually, while those for Computer systems design & related services earn $88,270 annually. Lastly, management companies and enterprises came last with an average annual pay of $81,130. Information security analysts generally work from 9 to 5, or on a part-time schedule. Nevertheless, if an emergency occurs, they may be required outside normal business hours.

How to become an Analyst

If you want to know How to Become an Analyst you should start with job requirements. As you may probably already anticipate, a security analyst must hold a bachelor’s degree in IT, programming or a computer-related field. In this regard, some schools are better than others because they are responding with fresh information on the topic of security programs. As a matter of fact, there are even school or special courses that focus on security programs & data protection for prospective job-seekers. You must choose a program wisely, as it may provide a path for entry in this type of career. However, employees prefer a well-rounded education in programming, IT and data security. Although it is not mandatory, the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) will ensure that you receive higher employment consideration. Keep in mind that an MBA takes around two years to complete (beyond the undergraduate level). Work experience is without a doubt one of the best ways to secure a position as information security analyst. Experience proves what education generally fails to: the fact that you can actually be trusted with a company’s data and that you are familiar with the work environment. Many successful analysts had experience in an information technology department, as system or network administrators. If you have IT or programming experience in one of the industries mentioned above you will receive employment preference. For example, if you see a job opening in database security, and you have experience as database administrator, you have great chances of getting hired. To increase the chances of getting hired you should also think about obtaining licenses, certifications or registrations. There are several information security licenses available and it can be truly useful to hold at least one. Some represent general data security certificates (example: Certified Information Systems Security Professionals), while others are focused on system auditing, penetration testing or data recovery tools. Education and experience aside, there are also several qualities that information security analysts must possess in order to be considered. First and foremost, analytical skills can make or break your career. Analysts must constantly monitor and study computer systems, firewalls, networks, protection programs and determine the causes of irregularities. Ingenuity is also appreciated because it will help the security analyst outthink the hacker and come up with effective protection measures if the system has been compromised. Attention to details is also a must, as some hackers can penetrate the system without you even realizing it. Cyber-attacks are usually very difficult to detect, and this is why the data analyst must pay close attention to computer systems, programs and irregularities. Lastly, problem-solving skills can help the analyst improve data security systems and remedy minor flaws.

Information Security Analyst Job Description

The Information Security Analyst job description entails protecting all sensitive information within a company. Due to the increase in cyber-attacks, their responsibilities are constantly expanding and can even encompass tasks such as training employees in regards to data protection guidelines. In order to become a successful information security analyst one most continuously adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape. Versatility, creativity and ability to adapt will ensure that the security analyst is capable of protecting the company from new types of attack while also coming up with effective solutions. A data security analyst must also inform himself about data breach cases, new technologies and safe data protection solutions. This can be done by attending cyber-security conferences. Here are some of the most important Information Security Analyst job description duties:
  • Installing and using protection software such as data encryption programs or firewalls.
  • Monitoring the company’s online and offline activities, evaluating networks, checking for security breaches and investigating the causes of one when it occurs.
  • Creating reports that document breaches or damage caused by a cyber-attack.
  • Providing comprehensive data recovery and protection plans in case of disasters
  • Staying up-to-date with the latest IT (information technology) security trends.
  • Helping employees and computer users install and use new security products and informing them if safety procedures are changed.
  • Based on extensive research, the information security analyst can recommend new programs or security enhancements to a manager or senior IT staff.
  • Creating and testing network disaster recovery plans.
Probably the most important task of an IT information security analyst is to create and implement a disaster recovery plan in emergency situations. The security and recovery methods implemented in such a situation will ensure the continuous functioning of an organization in the eventuality of a data breach. To make sure that a company’s data is always secure, the information security analyst should regularly copy and transfer data to offsite storage and update passwords. Data protection is extremely important for a company and this is why information security analysts usually collaborate with upper management. For example chief technology officers, computer & information systems managers and data security analysts will regularly collaborate, evaluate and implement preemptive measures of protection.

Information Security Analyst job Outlook

The job outlook for information technology positions remains incredibly bright for the time being. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for this type of career is expected to grow by 37% nationwide through 2022. This is a lot faster than the average growth of 14% for all other occupations. That’s because demand for data analysts is on the rise. As companies continue to move into the digital era, they also require capable data analysts to have their systems protected. Losing customer information or having a data breach made public can create havoc for a company. Statistics actually show that most organizations are lacking in the ability to detect cyber-attacks or protect themselves from them. It is projected that companies will take more responsibility of their data by hiring more and more information security analysts. The Federal Government will also increase its use of analysts in order to secure critical IT systems and healthcare facilities, which are receiving electronic equipment and moving towards electronic medical records, will also require better methods of protecting patients’ privacy and personal data. Employment projections for 2012-2022 prove that security analysts will have excellent opportunities in the immediate future. The projected employment for 2022 is 102,500, which means that 27,400 new jobs as data analysts will be created over the next 10 years.

 

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