Data is the lifeblood of business. With networked computing becoming common in even the smallest of organizations and the advent of the internet and cloud solutions, access to sophisticated data to solve complex business challenges has never been so universal. Because data can be leveraged to gain competitive advantage, it has developed into its currency; there is a very real value to raw data and the systems used to collect, curate, and process it.
As data systems become ubiquitous, data has become less secure for the simplest of reasons - as more organizations manage large stores of information, there are more and easier targets for high-tech criminals. Once found only in government agencies and the largest of blue-chip firms, Big Data is now handled by small- to medium-sized businesses. Often, these smaller companies do not have the IT resources or experience to keep data safe. In the last decade, Target, Neiman Marcus, Equifax, and many more have dealt with high profile data breaches. As a result, the role of Information Security Analyst has grown to become a sought-after position across industries and company sizes.
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What Is an Information Security Analyst?
An Information Security Analyst defends computer networks operated by private businesses, government organizations, and nonprofit organizations. There are few fields where an Information Security Analyst cannot find work – finance, marketing, insurance, sales, computer systems, and many other industries rely on data security. As Machine Learning and predictive modeling demonstrate their returns on investment, more business types will require the skills of a competent Information Security Analyst.
The analyst’s primary responsibility is to set up scalable security apparatuses to address and prevent threats. The specifics of the job vary depending on the industry, but an Information Security Analyst is often on standby in case of data breaches, hacking, or other emergencies related to the security of technology assets. An analyst generates reports that IT admins and business executives use to assess the practicality of their security apparatuses. Based on the analyst’s recommendations, companies will alter security networks to ensure information is inaccessible to unauthorized individuals. Creating and delivering educational programs is also part of the job; as it is often necessary to help employees, end-users, and executives maintain healthy security practices.
What Information Security Analysts Do?
An information security analyst is typically responsible for the following tasks:
- Investigate security breaches on their organization's networks.
- Maintain data encryption programs and firewalls to protect sensitive data.
- Inspect computers and networks for vulnerabilities
- Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in information technology security (IT)
- Analyze metrics, attempt attacks, and security breaches
- Establish organization-wide security standards
- Ensure that senior IT staff is aware of security enhancements
- Assist users with installation or learning of new security products
What Are the Job Prospects?
Since information security is a concern for businesses around the world, the well-trained, properly credentialed Information Security Analyst is in high demand. As a result, job prospects are excellent overall. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 28% from 2016 to 2026 - considerably faster than the average growth for all occupations. According to U.S.News, Information Security Analyst is listed as the fourth-best IT job in 2019 and beyond. This is attributable to the wide variety of businesses looking for data security solutions. As with any profession in short supply but high demand, the information security analyst salary is elevated. According to Indeed, the average information security analyst salary is $81,065 per year which may increase as per the knowledge and expertise you bring to the table.
The market has spoken. Information Security Analysts are needed now more than ever. Presently, the number of professionals with the required certifications had not caught up with employment demand.
What Certifications Are Needed?
An information security certification comprises a collection of several different certifications that collectively establish foundational knowledge in various topics. Simplilearn helps students master the skills needed to secure a network. Our security courses and certifications show security professionals how to spot vulnerabilities, fend off attacks, and immediately respond to emergencies.
Security+ certification is the most basic requirement needed for a career as an Information Security Analyst. It’s a foundational, vendor-neutral certification that validates basic knowledge of network security and risk management. The certification is the first step but affords a wide variety of opportunities on its own. Our online preparation course covers all six domains of knowledge required to get certified and includes an exam voucher to take the test.
Certified Ethical Hacker
The CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) certification covers the advanced logistics behind the hacking and exposes the tactics hackers use to cause data breaches, such as writing virus code and reverse engineering. CEH is the information security certification that teaches the tactics of the enemy – a must-have for data security, helping professionals understand the mind of the hacker to implement effective defense solutions.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional
The CISSP Certification (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) is considered the gold standard for the Information Security Analyst. It trains students to become professionals in the fields of information security. CISSP covers a wide variety of topics:
- IT security
CISSP is the information security certification employers request most often.
Certified Information Systems Auditor
The CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) certification covers a wide array of topics on the governance and control of enterprise IT, training students to create and implement effective security audits. The CISA certification includes the acquisition, development, testing, and implementation of security systems.
Cyber Security Expert
The Cyber Security Expert Master’s Program is for those seeking to achieve one of the highest goals in information security and cybersecurity. Completion of this program identifies professionals as experts in the field, holding the highest caliber credentials.
Get Certified Today
The market is wide open for the Information Security Analyst. With proper training and credentials, technical security professionals can take part in one of the most expansive job markets in the world. Demand for IT and cybersecurity will only accelerate. Simplilearn’s courses and training will help ensure job security in a complex and highly volatile security environment.