How do I Become an Information Security Analyst?
More than ever, information is valuable. With everyone’s digital footprint growing daily, that’s more and more of a liability for any organization that holds personal information for their stakeholders. Cue the burgeoning industry of cybersecurity, and more specifically, information security analysts. Information security analysts are responsible for keeping up to date with the latest tactics of hackers, planning and implementing security measures, and creating and instituting proper cybersecurity policies in their workplace. Information Security Analysts may end up specializing in one particular part of digital infrastructure, or work in a more generalist setting where they are responsible for protecting computer systems, networks, and data. Demand in information security roles is only on the rise, and with a shortage of highly trained cybersecurity professionals, students looking to move into this sector of the economy can command admirable salaries.
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Western Governors University
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Salary of Information Security Analysts:
Depending on location, skillset, and experience, salaries for Information Security Analysts can vary quite a bit. According to Indeed.com, the lowest salary for a current job listing in the field is $49,478, while the highest is $102,185, making the mean salary for current information security analyst openings $70,400. Of Information Security Analyst positions, those with manager, officer, or architect in their title tend to have salaries on the higher end or above this range. Those listing the skills of project management and security risk management, salaries averaged 10% higher than other openings. Salaries were highest for these positions in Seattle and New York.
Common skillsets necessary for Information Security Analyst Positions:
- Penetration and vulnarability testing knowledge
- Anti-virus and anti-malware knowledge
- Computer networking, routing and switching security knowledge
- Knowledge of establishing and maintaining firewalls and detection protocols
- OS and terminal knowledge of Windows, Linux, and Unix
- At least one scripting language such as C, C++, C#, Java, PHP, or Python
- Knowledge of best practices and implementation for cloud computing
- Security information and event management
Information Security Analyst Job Description:
Information security analysts often work in research roles, compiling information and implementing changes to meet best practices for security depending on the technologies of their employer. At other times, information security analysts may try to infiltrate their own technologies to expose risks, and will frequently monitor usage metrics as well as risk factors for cyber attacks. Top-level goals of information security analyst positions are to minimize downtime of digital services and to protect digital assets. Information Security Analysts are tasked with staying up-to-date on their hard skills in many subdisciplines of information technology, as well as effectively interacting with and informing broader organizations through proper judgement and communication.
What education and experience does an Information Security Analyst postition require?
Academic requirements for information security analyst positions vary widely from organization to organization. That said, applicants are commonly required to posses a technical bachelors degree such as a bachelors in computer science, information technology, or information systems. There are also some specialized bachelors-level degrees in cyber security. A wider range of information assurance and security degrees are available at a masters level. A wide range of certification are also available for those looking to switch from another technical discipline to cybersecurity, or to advance up the career latter.
Common Information Security Analyst Certifications:
- CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
- ECSA: EC-Council Certified Security Analyst
- GSEC / GCIH / GCIA: GIAC Security Certifications
- CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
Resources for becoming an Information Security Analyst:
Check out our ranking of the best online information technology bachelors degree programs.
Check out our ranking of the best online information systems bachelors degree programs.
Check out our ranking of the best online Information Assurance and Srcurity masters degree programs.
The InfoSec Institute has a wide variety of resources for aspiring or current information security analysts.