Career Spotlight: Cybersecurity Analyst

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Cyber attacks pose some of the greatest threats to society today. In 2015, cyber crime accounted for over $65 million worth of damage in the United States alone.

But it’s not just money at stake. After the 2016 US presidential election, one fact became abundantly clear. Cybercrime can also meddle in politics. And it’s a problem that’s not going away anytime soon.

In the wake of cybercrime, the cybersecurity industry has come into being. As cyber attacks become more sophisticated, so do our methods of combating them. And a cybersecurity analyst, in particular, plays a very important role.

Are you passionate about defending the integrity of data? Do you believe you have what it takes to protect people’s security online?

Read on to learn more about the role of a security analyst in an IT infrastructure!

The Importance of Cybersecurity

In the year 2016 alone, the US Department of Justice, LinkedIn, and Yahoo were victims of cybercrime. And these attacks don’t even demonstrate the full magnitude of the issue.

Other government agencies, major corporations, and even small businesses are constantly susceptible. Even hospitals!

Why does this all matter?

Of course, millions of dollars get lost. But the public also loses their trust in the organizations that keep society afloat.

Cybersecurity in the Grand Scheme

How can we trust the banks with our money and mortgages when hackers can easily breach their systems? How can we trust the credit card bureaus who have our social security numbers and addresses?

Or, what happens when information about our national security gets into enemy hands?

We even have to worry about the small businesses we interact with. You may not always think about what’s at stake when you run your credit card through at the grocery store. Or, what type of information your doctor’s office has in your file.

You may not even realize how much information you share on social media… and who has the potential to obtain or manipulate it.

The bottom line? We as a society are becoming more and more dependent on technology. As we share more information online, the more that’s truly at stake.

The Role of Cybersecurity Analyst

You may be wondering, “What does cyber security do in light of all this?”

Without frequent monitoring, it’s easy for third parties to hack into any system – no matter how big or small.

This is where security analysis comes into play.

In the simplest terms, security analysts protect websites and computer systems against threats. These threats can range from viruses and malware to identify theft and system hacks.

Next, we’ll break down what it is they do to combat all these varying threats.

What Does a Cyber Security Analyst Do?

The role of a security analyst is not as simple as identifying threats and putting an end to them. Their objective is to design and execute security strategies that protect against threats.

A security analyst not only provides consultation to clients or employers. They identify vulnerabilities and weak spots in a computer system. And they also work to upgrade preventative security measures.

But that’s not all. Here’s a breakdown of just some of the types of duties a security analyst will perform on any given day:

  • Protect and encrypt existing files and data
  • Upgrade firewalls, databases, and hardware
  • Monitor security access
  • Perform regular audits of security systems
  • Identify and analyze security breaches
  • Test for software, hardware, and network vulnerabilities
  • Reduce the likelihood of potential attacks by measuring potential risks

Depending on where someone works as an analyst, they may even provide training. They’ll train entry-level analysts how to perform certain audits or how to check for vulnerabilities, for example. They can even train on new developments in technology, as well.

How to Become an Analyst in Cybersecurity

What does a cybersecurity analyst do to prepare themselves for the road ahead?

Education forms the foundation of any cybersecurity role. No matter if you’re in security analysis, programming, or computer engineering.

There are a few different options when it comes to applicable bachelor’s degrees. Many security analysts study computer science and programming as their undergraduate degrees. Here are some examples of common undergraduate degrees:

  • Computer programming
  • Computer engineering
  • Computer science

It’s also not uncommon for security analysts to have a background in business. Many companies prefer candidates with a Master’s degree in a computer-related field. They also prefer those with related job experience and certifications.

There are cybersecurity certifications that guarantee higher paying jobs. For example, someone with a CRISC certification knows how to assess security risks. Those with this certification go on to become security officers or directors.

Be Fearless & Innovative in Your Training

Did you know that Israel dominates the world’s cybersecurity industry?

Many Israelis who go on to become cyber security analysts receive their training in the IDF. Because Israelis must enlist in the IDF at age 18, many don’t have backgrounds or degrees starting off.

Israel is an exceptional case. But what this example shows is that, while an education is crucial, there are several ways to receive one.

If you’re considering a career in cybersecurity analysis, there’s a lot of room to get creative. Maybe you have experience with cybersecurity and don’t yet have a degree. Or, maybe you performed cybersecurity in the army. Perhaps you’ve even worked in a position that required you to analyze and secure data.

There’s nothing more valuable than education and on-the-job training. But even if computer programming is only a hobby, you could turn it into a career someday.

Learn More About Cybersecurity Careers

The threat of cyber warfare is only growing as technology becomes more developed. And with that, the need for cybersecurity analysts in all aspects is only growing dire each year.

If you’re thinking of becoming a cybersecurity analyst, start forming your plan of action. We can help you build a roadmap towards a future in cybersecurity!

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