Security Analyst

Job Description

Protecting sensitive information is a significant concern for every company, and organizations need Security Analysts to determine best how to secure their data and make sure that data stays secure. A Security Analyst protects computer networks from cyber attacks, creates cybersecurity policies and practices for the entire organization, and documents security breaches.

Security testing is also a big part of a Security Analyst’s job. Security Analysts work with an IT security team to test their networks and look for any weaknesses in their security measures. The Security Analyst then develops a plan to account for that weakness. A Security Analyst needs to stay adaptable. Cybersecurity is ever-changing and keeping up on the latest trends in cyber attacks and security measures is critical for every Security Analyst.

Security Analysts also take part in creating an organization’s disaster recovery plan for the company to follow in an emergency. That often includes planning how data is stored and backed up as well as how the organization can restore its network to proper function after a disaster or emergency.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Monitor computer networks for security issues
  • Investigate security breaches and other cybersecurity incidents
  • Install security measures and operate software to protect systems and information infrastructure, including firewalls and data encryption programs
  • Document security breaches and assess the damage they cause
  • Work with the security team to perform tests and uncover network vulnerabilities
  • Fix detected vulnerabilities to maintain a high-security standard
  • Stay current on IT security trends and news
  • Develop company-wide best practices for IT security
  • Perform penetration testing
  • Help colleagues install security software and understand information security management
  • Research security enhancements and make recommendations to management
  • Stay up-to-date on information technology trends and security standards

Education and Background

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related discipline. An MBA in information systems is strongly preferred.

Skills and Competencies

  • Experience in information security or a related field
  • Experience with computer network penetration testing and techniques
  • Understanding of firewalls, proxies, SIEM, antivirus, and IDPS concepts
  • Ability to identify and mitigate network vulnerabilities and explain how to avoid them
  • Understanding of patch management with the ability to deploy patches in a timely manner while understanding business impact

Compensation

According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Security Analyst with

1 Year of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $73,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $75,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $67,000
  • Miami, Florida: $70,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $80,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $81,000
  • Houston, Texas: $70,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $80,000
  • New York City, New York: $75,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $79,000
  • Overall: $75,000

5 Years of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $88,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $83,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $88,000
  • Miami, Florida: $90,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $92,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $99,000
  • Houston, Texas: $100,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $90,000
  • New York City, New York: $95,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $90,000
  • Overall: $89,000

Similar Job Titles

  • Security Engineer
  • Security Architect
  • Security Administrator
  • Security Software Developer
  • Cryptanalyst
  • Security Consultant
  • Security Specialist
  • Intrusion Detection Specialist
  • Penetration Tester
  • Vulnerability Assessor

Career Path

A Security Analyst must have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, IT, or a related discipline. Companies also recommend that students pursue coursework in cybersecurity, penetration testing, and computer forensics. Candidates who have served as interns in IT departments while pursuing a degree are also considered more desirable.

Most of the time, IT professionals don’t start as Security Analysts. Instead, most spend a year or two in entry-level computer programming or software developer roles, or as Computer Systems Analysts. In those positions, you can gain experience working with various platforms, data transmission processes, and intrusion and detection software programs.

Industry certifications can also increase your chances of landing a position as a Security Analyst. Companies that create specific cybersecurity platforms offer certification courses, such as Cisco’s Certified Network Associate security certificate. Also, there are industry-specific certifications available. For example, Security Analysts in the manufacturing industry can get a certification in eCommerce fraud or retail crime from companies such as the McAfee Institute.

Position Trends

Cybersecurity jobs are in huge demand as our society starts digitally storing more and more sensitive data. The Security Analyst field is changing every day, and many industry analysts say the market for Security Analysts will only increase.

According to the industry news website Cyber Security Intelligence, there was a global cybersecurity staffing shortage of about three million people in 2019. In the years to come, cyberattacks are expected to become more frequent, and the role of a Security Analyst will expand. Companies are expected to begin looking for analysts who have skills in areas like digital forensics, which is recovering evidence like deleted files to trace and pursue cyber attackers.

Another trend in the Security Analyst field is ethical hacking. Security Analysts could likely have to work with ethical hackers more often to aid them in testing weaknesses in security systems and software. After these weaknesses are exposed, a Security Analyst would work with their team to account for and eliminate those weaknesses.

Job Outlook

The demand for Security Analysts in the IT field is multiplying, and that trend is expected to continue.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Information Security Analyst field is expected to grow by 32 percent between 2018 and 2028. That’s much faster than average.

Typical Hours

The typical work hours in an office setting for a Security Analyst are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In an emergency, Security Analysts can be called upon to work outside of regular business hours.

Where You Can Find Jobs

  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster 
  • Zip Recruiter
  • IT Career Finder

Are You Interested in Becoming a Security Analyst?

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