The Day-to-Day as a Security Analyst
Security Analysts monitor their organization’s network to prevent and stop attacks on their private data. Security Analysts can find work full-time and on a freelance basis. Their jobs are usually onsite, but remote opportunities are becoming more abundant. They work for businesses, corporations, the government, computer and software engineering companies, the finance sector, and consulting firms. At larger organizations, a Security Analyst sometimes works on a team, with: network, information technology (IT), and computer programming professionals.
On a day-to-day basis, you’ll find Security Analysts monitoring the network, building firewalls, identifying weaknesses in the network’s security systems, fielding helpdesk tickets, helping non-tech staff members use systems, installing new software, designing new aspects of systems or firewalls, or attending IT department meetings.
What Skills Should Security Analysts Have?
Security Analysts must know how to: build firewalls, execute penetration tests and reports, and identify new threats and malware. They should have a strong foundational knowledge of networking. Depending on who they’re working for, they’ll need to be proficient in using the software that they prefer, which might include: ticket systems, malware prevention, encryption, virtual machines, or other IT software. They’ll also need to be able to identify new threats and malware. Security Analysts must be able to collaborate with teammates and stakeholders to design security protocols and systems.
They might also work with non-tech related employees on implementing security protocols in their machines and practices so they should be able to explain tech concepts to non-tech professionals as well. Cybersecurity is an ever-changing field and Security Analysts should expect to learn on the job, renew their certifications regularly, and teach themselves new technologies as necessary to maintain their position.
Learn the Skills You Need to Become a Security Analyst
Cybersecurity is a combination of technologies and best practices that protect networks, computers, software programs, and data from attack, damage, or other unauthorized access. Cybersecurity uses computer networking, software, hardware, and standard protocols to protect data.
CompTIA is an information technology industry association that provides certification programs, testing, training, and resources for information technology professionals. Their certifications include IT realms such as infrastructure, cybersecurity, and basic IT best practices and skills.
Security Analyst Salaries
A Security Analyst in the United States makes, on average, $85,219 annually, according to Indeed.com.
Salaries for Security Analysts vary by region within the the United States. Listed below are some Security Analyst salaries for specific areas with the United States compared with the average national salary:
- U.S. Average $85K source n/a
New York City
Los Angeles, CA
Orange County, CA
- U.S. Average $85K source n/a
Typical Qualifications to Become a Security Analyst
A bachelor’s degree in information technology, cybersecurity, or computer science is the standard minimum education requirement for Security Analysts, but some companies will hire cybersecurity bootcamp graduates in entry-level positions. Most employers expect candidates to have some sort of IT security certification, such as the CompTIA Security+. There are certifications for operating systems, coding languages, software, and specific security practices.
Searching for Security Analyst Jobs
Security Analysts can find work full-time and on a contract basis. Their jobs are usually onsite, but remote opportunities are becoming more abundant. They work for businesses, corporations, the government, computer and software engineering companies, the finance sector, and consulting firms. They can find jobs most efficiently through tech and information technology job boards, but positions are also posted on general job boards.
Security Analysts can look for jobs on these sites:
- Authentic Jobs
- IT Job Pro
- Cybersecruity Job Board
Security Analysts can find remote jobs on these sites:
Tips to Become a Security Analyst
Security Analysts are in high demand, but you’ll still need to put in the effort to educate yourself and put in the work to gain experience before landing this job. If you haven’t worked in IT before, you should attempt to land an entry-level role first such as Applications System Analyst, Senior Analyst, or Systems Analyst Specialist. If you have no IT experience, look into education, either through: online learning, a college program, or a cybersecurity bootcamp. On top of that, you should get at least two certifications, such as the CompTIA Security+ (CySa+) and the Certified Informations Security Professional (CISSP) from ISC2.
Once you’re educated, certified, and in an entry-level position, you can let your supervisor know that you’re looking to land a Security Analyst position in the future. They’ll best know if you can do that within the company you’re in, what skills you’ll need to gain before landing that position, and they might have advice for you. If you don’t want to stay with that company or they don’t have that opportunity for you, start networking! Get on LinkedIn and start making genuine connections with other cybersecurity professionals. Start with people working at an organization you’d like to work for and see if you can set up a coffee date or informational interview.
Refresh your resume, make sure all of your certifications are up-to-date, and get up to speed on the latest trends and technologies. Cybersecurity changes rapidly and it’s important to stay up-to-date on new malware, best practices, weaknesses, and technology innovations. You’ll want to keep an eye on the internet of things, the cloud, encryption technology, and deep learning methods in AI and Machine Learning. Sign up for a few daily or weekly roundup emails or start following your favorite cybersecurity sources on social media to stay up-to-date conveniently.
What Job Titles Would a Security Analyst Hold?
The Security Analyst position does not usually vary in responsibility between companies. This well-defined role usually goes by this exact name, only varying by one word or by department. You can find these positions at businesses, corporations, the government, computer and software engineering companies, the finance sector, and consulting firms.
IT Security Analysts can look for positions with these titles:
- Security Analyst
- Security Operations Analyst
- Systems Analyst Specialist
- Information Security Analyst
Security Analysts identify cybersecurity weaknesses, while Security Engineers build systems. To upskill to a Security Engineer position, Security Analysts should become proficient in building firewalls, creating intrusion detection systems, cloud and e-commerce security systems, and designing security systems as a whole. Moving up to the position of Security Engineer will most likely result in a raise for a Security Analyst. Some smaller companies combine the role of Security Engineer and Security Analyst and would be a simple way to move into this position without making a big leap.
Salary Comparison to Security Analyst
Security Engineers build security systems for organizations, find vulnerabilities in their organization’s systems, and make current security systems more reliable.Learn about becoming a Security Engineer
IT Security Specialist
Information Technology (IT) Security Specialists develop and implement the security measures their organization needs to protect their information assets in a secure system. They analyze the existing security procedures regularly and suggest changes to upper-level management to maximize efficiency and security.Learn about becoming a IT Security Specialist