How to Become An Information Security Analyst?

About Information Security Analyst

From signing up for special offers online to using your credit card in a store, you’re constantly transmitting valuable data about yourself. Most consumers shop and share with the assumption that their data is safe, but this wouldn’t be true without the efforts of information security analysts.

From protecting proprietary business information to keeping clients’ personal details safe, your role as an information security analyst is a crucial one.

If you have a knack for computer-related fields and you enjoy the challenge of digging through code to find the weak points before a cybercriminal can, this is one career you should definitely consider.

Education and Experience Needed

If you’re interested in a career as an information security analyst, you’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in information assurance, IT security, computer programming, computer science, or a related field. If you want the best possible edge in this field, consider pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems for a solid background in both computers and business.

Relevant certification will improve your prospects as an information security analyst. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is a broad-reaching choice that can prove your general knowledge of the industry. More specialized certifications in particular systems or strategies are preferred where these skills are needed. 

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Employers prefer candidates with a strong job history in a computer-related field. Applicable positions include database administrator, network administrator, computer systems analyst, or computer systems administrator. If you have previous experience working in computer security, you’ll be an ideal candidate for the position of an information security analyst.

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Average Salary

Information security analysts enjoy an above-average salary among those in computer occupations. The median annual salary for all computer-related jobs is $82,860, while information security analysts can expect median earnings of $92,600. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals in the top 10 percent of this occupation make more than $147,290 a year.

Those in the bottom ten percent earn under $53,760. This leaves information security analysts well ahead of the average salary for all occupations in the US, which is just $37,040.

Finance and insurance is the top-paying industry for information security analysts. The median annual wage here is $94,050. Those in computer systems design make $93,490 and those in the information industry earn a median annual wage of $92,940.

This career field offers outstanding prospects. Employment for information security analysts is expected to increase by 28 percent between 2016 and 2026. In computer systems design, employment for these professionals is expected to grow 56 percent over the same period. This is outstanding when compared to the average job growth of 7 percent for all occupations in the United States.

Average Duties and Tasks

Information security analysts are responsible for keeping data safe from cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals enhance their arsenal of virtual weapons almost as fast as IT professionals develop methods to thwart them. This is a fast-paced career where the latest trends and technology are always changing.

As an information security analyst, your daily activities may include:

  • Installing and testing new software
  • Inspecting the system for vulnerabilities
  • Investigating security breaches
  • Documenting breaches and attacks
  • Developing enhanced security standards
  • Researching security trends
  • Identifying and recommending enhanced security measures to keep the system up-to-date

As an information security analyst, you’re an essential point of contact for computer users within your organization. You’ll help others install new software, understand essential security protocols, and implement best practices for keeping data safe.

Should a security breach occur, you’ll be at the front line evaluating the damage, stopping the attack, and reinforcing your security measures to better protect your business against future security breaches.

Advancement Opportunities

A background as an information security analyst can prepare you for a variety of lucrative careers in technology. Climbing the ladder within the same company, you might move from an analyst’s role into that of a manager. Computer and information systems managers oversee a variety of computer-related activities within a company including information security systems as well as others.

You may choose to move on to a position as a computer network architect, building networks yourself. As the computer and information research scientist, you could invent new approaches to information security and design your own systems. These positions all enjoy median annual salaries of over $100,000.

If you’re looking for a career in computer systems, in which you can take an active role in the fight against cybercrime, consider equipping yourself for a position as an information security analyst. You can expect to find plenty of exciting opportunities in this field in the years to come.