According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth in the field of information security analysts is expected to increase by 31% by 2029.
The demand for information security analysts is only going to skyrocket. As businesses want to protect themselves from hackers—stealing critical information and causing computer network failures.
It’s no surprise that U.S. News & World Report ranks information security analysts 4th among the best technology jobs. Therefore, a career as an information security analyst is not only demanding but is also one of the highest-paying tech jobs right now.
So, if you’re looking for a full guide on how to become an information security analyst, look no further. Everything will be covered in this blog. Make sure to read it through to the end to gain a thorough understanding.
Useful? Let’s begin.
Why companies need an information security analyst?
It’s said that data is the new gold or new oil. Because organizations can analyze and manipulate data to leverage competitive advantage. In this way, data becomes a commodity just like gold.
Therefore, gone are the days when only tech giants or government-managed sophisticated data. Today, even small or medium companies with the advent of the internet and cloud solutions use data to solve complex business challenges.
There is simply too much raw data to be managed, collected, and curated by companies of all sizes. Therefore as more companies manage big data, they also become the easy target for high-tech hackers. Especially the small and medium-sized businesses are more vulnerable. Because they lack the IT resources to keep their data safe from theft.
Even the most powerful tech companies, such as LinkedIn, eBay, Adobe, Yahoo, Heartland Payment Systems, Canva, and others, were unable to protect their data. As a result, companies across all industries are in desperate need of information security analysts.
Making the job of an information security analyst extremely important in today’s business world. With that, let’s learn more about how to become an information security analyst.
What does an Information Security Analyst do?
An information security analyst assists businesses in protecting sensitive data from cyber attackers. They ensure that they are one step ahead of hackers by devising innovative solutions.
Information security analysts help in the development, implementation, and maintenance of scalable security apparatuses to address and prevent threats. They accomplish this by erecting firewalls and encrypting data transmissions to protect confidential information as it is received or transmitted.
The role of an information security analyst differs depending on the industry. However, the most important and common roles involve. Being proactive in the event of data breaches, hacking, or other types of security breaches involving digital assets.
Talking about the roles, sometimes security analysts are confused with security administrators. Hence, here are some key differences:
Security analysts – They assess data and make recommendations to higher-ups but don’t implement changes. Their primary responsibility is to keep intruders out.
Security administrators – Their primary responsibility is to maintain systems operationally. Make changes, deploy fixes, and set up new admin accounts to confirm that systems are working fine.
Up next, let’s talk about the skills needed for how to become an information security analyst.
Skills you need to become an Information Security Analyst
One of the most asked questions on how to become an information security analyst is the required skill. There are many hard and soft skills required to become an information security analyst.
Hard skills required to become an Information Security Analyst
Cybersecurity is the obvious one because every organization requires a specialist who is familiar with risk management and mitigation. You might need some certificates to showcase your skills in Cybersecurity. These certificates are CompTIA security+, certified ethical hacker, and certified information systems security professional
2. Network Security Management
It is the process of putting strategies in place to increase the security of a company’s interconnected IT system. Proper management entails regularly testing new security software and responding quickly to potential risks. Managers of network security are in charge of teams of IT specialists and analysts.
3. IT Security and Infrastructure
As the name suggests, they must be aware of an organization’s firewall, IT infrastructure, and routers. Their job is to search for potential attacks within these infrastructures. However, even if an attack occurs, these professionals can help to reset security systems or provide other solutions.
4. Tableau Software
These are analytical programs that help information security analysts understand and share data. Many recruiters will look for this skill on a resume. Tableau Software may be included in some information security analyst degrees. If not, you can learn Tableau Software through certification courses.
5. Security Testing and Auditing
Information security analysts run tests and audits to find out any problems within the IT infrastructures. Analysts take proactive measures to examine the strength of the IT system’s defenses. As well as to identify and correct any flaws.
6. Security Risk Management
Not all attacks carry the same level of security risk. The security hazards can be significant or minimal at times. As a result, the information security analyst would devise solutions to address the risk’s intensity.
Soft skills required to become an Information Security Analyst
1. Communication and collaboration
The key is to make sure that everyone in the company understands how to apply specific security processes to prevent an attack. Information security analysts must be able to express the problem’s intricacies in simple words in order to accomplish this. An information security analyst’s communication abilities should be precise that teamwork can function well.
2. Analytical Thinking
Information security analysts are required to conduct regular audits of their company’s computer networks and systems. For this reason, they must have excellent attention to detail and analytical skills. This helps analysts detect flaws, assess potential threats, and determine the best security measures to implement.
3. Creative problem solving
Every IT professional requires innovative solutions to everyday problems. This is particularly true for information security analysts, who face difficult challenges. As a result, analysts must be capable of detecting and addressing security issues in a timely and proactive manner.
Up next on – how to become an information security analyst. Let’s talk about the education required to start your career.
Education required to become an Information Security Analyst
To get started, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar program. While a degree is preferred, it is not always required to obtain job opportunities. For example, most recruiters demand an associate degree or a certificate course to be considered for an entry-level position.
Similarly, if you want a management position, you should have a degree in advanced information security analyst. This job will pay more and have more responsibilities.
Get some experience
Having some hands-on experience will let you easily get a job as an information security analyst. However, this can be a bit challenging for freshers. In such cases, one should highlight their hard and soft skills. This will help you gain an advantage when you lack experience.
The best option, however, would be to secure an internship. Many bachelor’s degree programs already provide internships to prepare students for the real world. Some programs even incorporate internships into the curriculum, requiring students to complete fieldwork for class credit.
Aside from internships, you can also enroll in various certification courses to boost the credibility of your resume.
The guide – how to become an information security analyst, is incomplete without mentioning certification courses. Certificates help you stand out as an information security analyst. You will need a group of certifications that establish fundamental skills in a variety of topics.
Here is a list of some of the most popular certification courses available:
- CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
- CompTIA Security+
- CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)
- GSEC: GIAC Security Essentials
- ECSA: EC-Council Certified Security Analyst
- GPEN: GIAC Penetration Tester
- CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor
- SSCP: Systems Security Certified Practitioner
- CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
- CRISC: Certified in Risk and Information System Control
Starting a career as an information security analyst will not be easy. You must learn a variety of skills and stay up-to-date with industry trends. However, no great career is easy to begin. To get started, you must be committed and have a solid plan. This guide on how to become an information security analyst is a good starting point. All you have to do is follow it and put these steps into action.
An information security analyst’s job is one of the most lucrative in the tech industry. Every business is concerned about information security, and they require well-trained, credentialed professionals to work for them. As a result, Information Security Analysts are in greater demand than ever.