With news of cyberattacks making constant headlines, IT security is a preeminent concern for businesses of all sizes and industries. Information security plays a critical role in safeguarding an organization’s IT resources and data.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be an average of 19,500 new job openings for information security analysts each year for the next decade. This represents a job growth of 35 percent between 2021 and 2031, much faster than the national average (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
Are you interested in becoming an information security analyst? This article will cover everything you need to know about an information security analyst job, from the roles and responsibilities to how to become an information security analyst.
Information Security Analyst — Job Role and Duties
An information security analyst is vital in maintaining an organization’s cybersecurity posture. Information security analysts may occupy a variety of roles and responsibilities, including:
- Identifying security risks: Information security analysts are responsible for detecting potential risks and vulnerabilities within an IT ecosystem.
- Developing security policies: Once they detect security flaws, information security analysts are responsible for developing and implementing security policies to fix or mitigate each issue.
- Monitoring security logs: Information security analysts are responsible for logging and monitoring security events within the enterprise, identifying potential attacks and data breaches.
- Conducting security audits: To help comply with IT security laws and regulations, information security analysts conduct audits of the IT environment, examining the existing security measures and probing them for vulnerabilities.
- Providing guidance and training: Information security analysts strengthen the organization’s security posture by offering guidance, education, and training to all enterprise members, providing leadership on IT security issues.
Skills Required to Succeed as an Information Security Analyst
Effective performance as an information security analyst requires several skills and background knowledge. The skills necessary to succeed as an information security analyst include:
- Technical knowledge: First and foremost, information security analysts must have in-depth technical knowledge of IT systems. This includes familiarity with computer networks, operating systems, and various cybersecurity tools and technologies.
- Analytical skills: As the job title suggests, information security analysts must have strong analytical skills, quickly processing and breaking down information and datasets. Information security analysts must be able to efficiently identify security vulnerabilities based on the data and observations they collect.
- Communication skills: Information security analysts frequently interact with the rest of the organization, including non-technical business leaders. This means they require strong communication skills, effectively presenting technical information and insights in a non-technical manner.
- Problem-solving skills: Information security analysts encounter problems daily with security flaws and vulnerabilities. As a result, they need to know how to effectively break down a problem, apply critical thinking, and identify the best methods to solve it.
How to Become an Information Security Analyst
With more and more openings available for information security analysts, it’s no surprise that more people are interested in these jobs. This section will cover how to get an entry-level information security analyst position.
Information Security Analyst Certification and Education
An information security analyst often has a formal educational background in a subject related to their work. Related degrees may include computer science, information technology, and cybersecurity.
Instead of education, however, some information security analysts have accumulated a wealth of real-world experience that qualifies them for the job. Many employers are willing to consider candidates who need a degree and can demonstrate relevant knowledge and experience.
Often, information security analysts have obtained a certification in this field that testifies to their ability to perform this role effectively. One such certification is EC-Council’s C|EH (Certified Ethical Hacker) course, the world’s number 1 certification in ethical hacking. An information security analyst certification can show employers that you have the right combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills for success.
Information Security Analyst Salary and Job Outlook
Given the high demand for information security analysts, it’s no surprise that these roles can be well-compensated for their work. According to the BLS, the average information security analyst salary as of May 2021 is $102,600 annually, and the highest earners can be paid over $160,000 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
Information security analysts often have a standard 40-hour workweek, although some may be on-call outside regular business hours. Many information security analysts have flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting.
As mentioned above, the BLS projects a job growth rate of 35 percent for information security analysts over the next decade. In 2031, the BLS estimates that there will be a total of 219,500 people employed as information security analysts, with a net increase of 56,500 jobs (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
Much of this projected growth is due to the sharp increase in cyber attacks, giving organizations more significant concern for their IT assets. The BLS mentions issues such as the rise of remote work and telehealth solutions as critical factors for companies’ interest in cybersecurity—and, therefore, in hiring information security analysts.
Why C|EH is Critical to Becoming an Information Security Analyst
The good news is that the demand for information security analyst positions will continue to rise as more businesses pay attention to cybersecurity issues. However, it’s not always clear to potential employees how to take advantage of this demand.
Are you looking to enter the cybersecurity field with an information security analyst entry-level job? The best way to get started is with a certification of EC-Council’s C|EH (Certified Ethical Hacker) program (World’s No.1 Ethical Hacking Certification)
EC-Council’s C|EH program empowers learners to hone their knowledge base in ethical hacking and pen testing. The C|EH course is divided into 20 modules, with more than 220 hands-on lab assignments that teach students the real-world ethical hacking skills they need to succeed as an information security analyst.
Ready to jumpstart your career as an information security analyst and become part of this growing field? Learn more about the C|EH certification today and how it can help you become an information security analyst.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Information Security Analysts: Occupational Outlook Handbook. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
David Tidmarsh is a programmer and writer. He’s worked as a software developer at MIT, has a B.A. in history from Yale, and is currently a graduate student in computer science at UT Austin.