What Does a Cyber Security Analyst Do in 2022?

January 18, 2022

What does a cyber security analyst do?

A cyber security analyst protects a company’s network and data infrastructures from security breaches, suspicious activities, and malware attacks. They monitor a company’s network, implement firewalls, and create contingency plans for information systems.

Gartner predicts that the global information security market will reach $170.4 billion by 2022, while BLS estimates show that security analysts’ employment will increase by 33 percent from 2020-2030.

If you’re interested in joining this evolving field, think about becoming a cyber security analyst. A career as an information security analyst can introduce you to exciting challenges and immense growth prospects.

Let’s look at the typical cybersecurity analyst job description along with the day to day responsibilities.

What Is Cyber Security and Why Is It Important?

Cyber security is a broad term that refers to information and data security in digital form. A company’s cyber security is what protects them from data breaches. You can use data of all types maliciously against computer networks and systems, from simple text files to complex databases. 

Most often, this kind of data is used for identity theft and credit card fraud. Companies must protect themselves against hackers, viruses, and other dangers.

START YOUR CYBER SECURITY CAREER

Earn your degree in Cyber Security from NEIT and begin your new career path today!

ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE

BACHELOR'S DEGREE

MASTER'S DEGREE

A Day in the Life of a Cyber Security Analyst

A cyber security analyst plays a vital role in the IT sector as the world rapidly transitions to digital interfaces.

cyber security analyst

A typical day for an analyst involves:

  • Working on a company’s privacy policies.
  • Performing risk assessments.
  • Monitoring the access management and security controls of critical systems.
  • Setting up security alerts in case of breaches.

Cyber security analysts may work in the public sector, for businesses and corporations, or as freelance consultants. Cyber security analyst roles may involve:

  • Interacting with the customers.
  • Learning new technology.
  • Implementing threat protection measures.
  • Educating their team about cyber security.

Roles and responsibilities may vary depending on your organization, area of specialization, and level of experience.

Cyber Security Analyst – Responsibilities

The cyber security analyst position requires a broad range of skills and knowledge in computer science, electrical engineering, and communication.

Cyber security analysts typically spend their time researching vulnerabilities and creating protections against them. This role can be an exciting opportunity for those who want to apply their analytical skills to constantly evolving problems. Outlined here are some of the most common job responsibilities:

Monitoring Systems and Networks

Security analysts monitor the network and access management control of an organization’s computer networks. They evaluate network activities such as log-ins, incoming codes, identity theft, suspicious updates, and security breaches to keep software systems safe from security attacks.

Performing Security Assessments

Cyber security analysts utilize firewalls and information security standards to assess risks. They perform tests to identify potential vulnerabilities and threats. Cyber security analysts also conduct internal and external audits on computer networks to understand their preparedness in dealing with an attack.

They will also suggest upgrading the existing standards if they detect a threat. Once they complete an assessment, they must compile an assessment report documenting security issues and measures they took in response.

Develop Security and Recovery Plans

A cyber security analyst identifies the causes of breaches for creating contingency plans to avoid future mishaps. An analyst also suggests safe practices for employees and clients while working online.

Cyber security analysts should ensure that a company has backups and disaster recovery plans in place in case of a data breach or a cyber invasion.

Hackers use increasingly advanced systems and techniques to attack software systems. Cyber security analysts have to constantly stay updated with new software, research trends, and advances in information technology.

Cyber security analysts’ also work with vendors to ensure that security products meet strong privacy standards. They must carefully vet new partnerships and contracts to ensure that their security frameworks meet regulatory standards.

Suppose a company buys a new system or software. In that case, it is the responsibility of a cyber security analyst to communicate the vendor’s information technology policies, terms of use, potential security issues, and best practices to the employer and employees.

What are the Key Skills for a Security Analyst?

Information security analysts must equip themselves with a broad range of soft and hard skills for a fulfilling career. We can categorize the skills that security analysts require as follows:

  • Networking: Computer networks are one of the most common targets for hackers and miscreants. A cyber security analyst must have a thorough understanding of the various elements in a network, how they can target a cyber attack and the security measures to prevent such attacks.
  • Scripting: A concrete knowledge of computer scripts such as C, C++, and Java can help cyber security professionals identify encoded threats. Scripting also helps write and rewrite software to prevent unwanted security incidents.
  • Hacking: Cyber security analysts must have a thorough grasp of the various hacking processes to block and prevent attacks. An ethical hacking certification can help prepare future security analysts to understand threats better and implement robust security measures.
  • Operating Systems: An analyst must be well-versed with the various operating systems that organizations use, such as Linux, iOS, and Windows.
Computer networks security

Soft Skills

  • Critical Thinking: A cyber security analyst must have strong critical thinking abilities to identify information security risks and threats in a sea of complex codes and software. They must be able to understand the issue and troubleshoot it efficiently.
  • Collaboration: Cyber security analysts often work with a larger team of IT professionals. They must possess strong interpersonal skills to collaborate and forge a good working relationship with their employer and team members. 
  • Communication: Working with any technology requires excellent verbal and written communication skills. As a security analyst, you must clearly explain the security issues and potential threats to your clients, employer, and even people without any technical background.
  • Learning: If you want to land a job in security analysis, you must continually learn and evolve to keep up with the changing IT trends. Adapting to newer technology can help with employment growth and make you a strong professional in your field.
Soft skills and hard skills

Technical Skills Vs. Workplace Skills

Cyber security analysts must have a comprehensive understanding of various security technologies such as networking protocols (TCP/IP), encryption tools, VPNs, and event log analysis. 

Along with managing dedicated security software, a cybersecurity analyst also requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills to create a detail-oriented plan for dealing with cyber threats.

The technical and workplace skills pretty much go hand-in-hand as monitoring an organization’s networks or encrypting sensitive information requires immense attention to detail. You should also keep learning emerging technologies and remain calm under pressure.

Best Degrees for Cyber Security

A cyber security analyst is an entry-level position. You can apply for jobs with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. Some students may even pursue degrees in computer science with minors in cybersecurity. If you’re looking for advanced roles, you can also apply for a master’s degree.

Whatever degree you choose, you must ensure that you work on the fundamentals of penetration testing, network monitoring, firewalls, antivirus software, hacking, and countermeasures for cybersecurity.

How to Become a Cyber Security Analyst

You can become a cyber security analyst by obtaining a professional qualification in this field. Most employers prefer a professional degree in cyber security and network engineering. However, you can also enroll in information security certification programs, industry certifications, or complete crash courses after completing your degree in any relevant area.

Some of the standard information security certifications you can undertake are:

  • Certified Ethical Hacker Certification
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Cyber security professionals can also go for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree to take up management roles in an organization.

With your degree and certifications, relevant work experience can bolster your career. It helps you learn the latest trends and considerably improves your understanding of various aspects of cyber security such as information management and database security, computer systems security, support services, etc.

A financial assistance program like that offered by the New England Institute of Technology can help you complete your degree without breaking the bank..

A Career as an Information Security Analyst 

Let’s look at the job roles, work profiles, salary, and the top locations for a cyber security analyst.

Cyber Security Analyst Jobs and Work Profiles

Some of the common, high-paying roles that an information security analyst can take up are as follows:

Security Analyst

Analysts assess the network and data infrastructure to look for possible threats and vulnerabilities in the system. They also evaluate the extent of damage in an attack and initiate the recovery processes to overcome the attacks. The role of an analyst also requires familiarity with compliance and security policies.

Security Engineer

Engineers primarily perform monitoring activities such as penetration testing to analyze the data and logs to investigate security breaches. They also utilize new technologies and processes such as data encryption programs and software to enhance an organization’s security capabilities.

Security Architect 

Architects design the security system or the major components of a security system. They fulfill leadership and management roles and head a team of security design engineers building a new security system.

Cyber Security Lawyer

These professionals deal with compliance laws and provide a comprehensive framework to companies for adhering to cyber laws and security policies. Lawyers also help their employers understand complex legal terms and conditions, security protocols, terms of use, and licenses.

Security Consultant/Specialist

Security consultants and specialists can be business owners, freelancers, or work in cyber security sales.

They represent a broad category of professionals who help protect our computers, networks, software, and data, against viruses, malware, intrusion, unauthorized access, denial-of-service attacks, etc., by suggesting effective programs and solutions.

Information Security Analyst

Kickstart your career with the New England Institute of Technology’s comprehensive Associate’s Degree in Cyber security.

Cyber Security Analyst Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median cyber security analyst salary in 2020 was $103,590 annually, making it one of the highest-paying jobs.

The top 10 percent of information security analysts earned more than $163,300 per year. You can also expect a high level of job growth as cyber security analysts.

The BLS predicts that the number of cyber security analyst jobs will grow by a whopping 33 percent, while all other occupations have a median growth rate of only four percent. 

Learn more about the job outlook for cyber security in our detailed analysis.

Top Locations for Cyber Security Analysts

According to the BLS data, California is the top-paying location for cyber security analysts. Companies paid an annual mean wage of $125,990 to cyber security professionals in 2020. These are the top five states in terms of yearly salaries in this profession:

Top Locations for Cyber Security Analysts

Conclusion

Cyber security analysts have excellent career prospects. With the world transitioning towards complete digitization, there is a possibility that cyber-attacks will also increase significantly. Cybersecurity analysts have a significant role in ensuring our data and network infrastructures’ safety and well-being.

Be a part of this fulfilling career opportunity with NEIT’s’ online and hybrid degree program in cyber security defense.

The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency has designated the New England Institute of Technology as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE), crediting our network engineering and cybersecurity degree programs. If you have already obtained your high-school diploma and are looking to venture into cybersecurity, you can look to New England Institute of Technology’s Associate and Bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity for a rewarding career in the field.

START YOUR CYBER SECURITY CAREER

Earn your degree in Cyber Security from NEIT and begin your new career path today!

ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE

BACHELOR'S DEGREE

MASTER'S DEGREE

FAQs

How Much Money Does a Cyber Security Analyst Make?

The annual median pay for cyber security analysts was $103,590 in 2020. Analysts can also make upwards of $150,000 per year, depending upon their skills, work location, work experience, and education.

Is Cyber Security a Good Career?

Yes. Cyber security is a promising career as the industry is rapidly growing, and there are excellent prospects for job growth. You also have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to society.

Does Cyber Security Require Coding?

Although cyber security analysts do not outright require coding, knowledge of scripting languages such as C, C++, and Java can help analysts understand scripted attacks. 

What Major Is Best for Cyber Security?

A professional degree in cyber security and network engineering is a great way to start working as an analyst. After completing an associate’s degree, relevant certifications, and some experience, you will be ready to join the world of cyber security.

What Skills Do I Need to Be a Cyber Security Analyst?

A cybersecurity analyst must develop technical skills such as intrusion detection, network management, penetration testing, hacking, and securing an organization’s critical information security infrastructure. You’ll need excellent problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work under pressure.

What Is the Role of a Cyber Security Analyst?

A cyber security analyst helps protect a company’s network and data infrastructures from security breaches, suspicious activities, and malware attacks. They monitor a company’s network, implement firewalls, create contingency plans, and identify potential threats that can hamper the functioning of an organization’s network.

Is Cyber Security Hard?

While cybersecurity can be challenging, it is less intensive than other computer-related courses. Students do not need to work on high-level math or advanced programming skills.

What Are the Work Hours in a Cyber Security Analyst Job?

A cybersecurity analyst may have a typical 9-to-5 job. However, overtime is common as cyber-attacks may happen at any time, and analysts must be present to render their services in dealing with security breaches.

Apply for Cyber security degrees and graduate in less than 2 years.