How To Become a Security Analyst

If you have analytical skills, pay attention to details and develop resourceful solutions to problems, you might wonder how to become a security analyst. A security analyst is an information technology (IT) professional who works with computer networks or systems, monitoring threats, preventing unauthorized access such as cyberattacks and hacking. As companies rely ever more heavily on the use of computer technology to manage, track, and conduct their business, they have a great need for preserving the security of their information systems.

Security analysts are also known as information security analysts. These professionals work to protect information stored on a company or agency’s system or network from outside access. They design company processes for protecting against cyberattacks, including the selection of firewall software, data encryption software and other safety measures. Security analysts are also responsible for establishing a “disaster recovery plan” for the company to follow, which specifies procedures for handling an attack should one occur or for securing and reinstating the network in case of another type of crisis. In terms of day-to-day operations, security analysts scrutinize security systems to ferret out any attacks or unauthorized access and attempt to learn who attempted to compromise the system’s security, why and how they managed to gain access. They create backup copies of important information stored in a safe place so that the data would not be lost in the event that an attack crashed and permanently disabled the company’s network or information system.

Information technology is a continually evolving field, and the techniques used in hacking and cyberattacks have gotten progressively more sophisticated. It’s essential for security analysts to keep up-to-date on the newest security measures available and investigate whether upgrading to newly-developed software and strategies could provide the organization with better network protection. Security analysts must communicate their research to supervisors. If the company decides to utilize new software, the security analyst may be called upon to install and set up the new security features as well as training employees on the use of the new program.

As a technical field, security analysis requires a college education. Some employers will consider hiring a candidate with only a bachelor’s degree, while others may demand a graduate-level degree. Often, aspiring security analysts study computer programming, information technology, information security or a related subject.

Security analysts earn a median annual salary of $64,789, according to Actual wages may vary by education, experience, location, company size, and exact title. For example, The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics cited data compiled by Robert Half Technology stating that data security analysts earned $89,000 to $121,500 and network security administrators made $85,000 to $117,750 per year. Security analysts can look forward to a high rate of job growth, with a 22 percent increase in opportunities by 2020. If you enjoy working with computers and analyzing and solving problems, knowing how to become a security analyst could be the start of an exciting career in a rapidly-growing field.

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