Cyber attacks and data breaches are becoming more and more common. The infamous Sony Pictures hack in December 2014 lead to a big scandal, ending in a Hollywood film (The Interview) having its release canceled. That’s the amazing impact that a cyber attack has had on a very large business.
Due to this increase in cyber attacks and data breaches, companies are more vigilant about their data security. Therefore, there is a greater demand to keep sensitive information safe and secure.
This is where information security analysts enter the scene.
Information security analysts have a negative unemployment rate as of 2014: you read that right, a negative unemployment rate. And the jobs are still being created.
Just for reference, the US national average unemployment is 5.5 percent as of April 2015.
What Is an Information Security Analyst?
A security analyst is an individual that is responsible for preserving and maintaining the security and secrecy of digital data for a company.
An information security analyst has knowledge in every aspect of information and internet security within the system of the company.
Part of an information security analyst’s responsibilities include:
- Providing staff training on proper information management.
- Adopting security measures whenever the company is sharing important information online and in the office.
- Reviewing flaws in the company’s security system with business administrators and IT professionals.
- Recommending necessary changes or upgrades to improve the company’s IT security systems.
These are some skills security analysts should have:
- Quick problem-solving skills.
- An analytical mind with the proper understanding of various computer systems.
- Knowledge of security standards, industry rules and regulations, and emerging security threats in cyberspace.
- The ability to create, test, and execute network disaster recovery plans and policies.
- The skills to determine risks for data processing systems using testing.
- A strong ability to install firewalls and other data encryption or security software.
How to Become an Information Security Analyst
In order to become an information security analyst, you will need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, programming, or any other field related to internet system security.
Some companies and organizations prefer those with expert knowledge of internet and information security. One can obtain such experience through a training program in networking and system security.
A few higher positions in this field may require further education qualifications such as a Master of Business Administration in Information Systems.
There are a lot of professional certificate courses available to become an information security analyst. These include the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, otherwise known as ISC2.
It is a nonprofit organization that provides certification programs in the field of Information Security. A senior level job in this field requires at least five years of working experience in similar fields like software development and network security.
Due to the influx in the number of cyber threats, companies nowadays are looking for new ways to protect vital information
As a result, the need for information security analysts has increased greatly.
Since the occupation is currently in demand, the median salary for an information security analyst is $86,170. The US national median salary as of 2012 was $34,750.
Hacking is now front-page news and can cost companies millions—maybe even billions of dollars. Everyone is looking to increase their security systems and it’s only going to continue to grow as hackers find other ways to bypass these systems.
Looking ahead to 2022, the field is supposed to grow 37%—much faster than average in the US. The last thing any company wants is to be the next Sony Pictures.
To learn more about information security analysts, look to the BLS.