Security is the most important thing for every organization. And since everything is now online, having security experts who can protect security systems is even more important.
When an information security analyst joins a company, they play an important role. Because these security experts know how to keep important information safe and ensure computers and networks work well, they can stop hackers with unauthorized access from getting into systems without permission. They can also find unwanted things in computer systems and fix them immediately. In this article, we'll look at how these professionals do their jobs, what they do, how much money they make, and what certifications they should earn in 2023.
What is an information security analyst?
An information security analyst is a skilled and proficient IT professional who keeps an organization’s computer systems and networks safe from hackers. They watch and study the networks, put security measures in place, and plan how to avoid breaches.
Information security analysts also look into incidents, teach employees to be secure, and learn about new security threats. They work with other IT people to ensure no one can access an organization’s data without permission.
Why do organizations need information security analysts?
Information security analysts ensure that hackers don't get into a company's computer systems, networks, or data.
They do many things to make sure the IT infrastructure of the company is safe and reliable, such as:
- Checking for possible weaknesses and risks to the organization’s systems, networks, and data.
- Setting up security tools, such as firewalls, encryption, antivirus, and authentication, to stop and reduce cyberattacks.
- Watching systems and networks for security problems, unauthorized access attempts, or strange activities and dealing with them quickly.
- Looking into security problems, finding the main cause, and planning to control and reduce the damage.
- Learning about the newest information technology security trends, threats, and industry best practices to improve the organization’s security level.
- Making security policies and protocols and teaching employees how to be secure.
- Following relevant regulations and standards, such as HIPAA, NIST, and PCI-DSS.
By doing these things, information security analysts help organizations protect their important and private information, like customer data, financial records, intellectual property, and trade secrets. They also help organizations avoid the bad effects of cyberattacks, such as data loss, damage to their reputation, legal liability, and financial losses.
History of information security analysts
Hackers have always tried to find ways to use the internet for their gain. Bob Thomas, a researcher, made a program called Creeper in 1971. This was one of the first hacks. He made Creeper so that he could sneak into computer networks linked by phone lines. Back then, people thought locking up their physical hard drives would keep their systems safe.
Some people say that Thomas was the person who started the modern field of cybersecurity. Ray Tomlinson, who came up with email, was so impressed by him that he made the first computer worm. Tomlinson also made the first antivirus program that could stop the worm.
Hackers can do a lot of damage to big companies by stealing their data these days. Yahoo, Facebook, and Marriott are all well-known companies with major data breaches. So, information security analysts have to keep learning about the new ways hackers can attack their companies.
What do information security analysts do?
An information security analyst ensures an organization's computer network and systems are safe from hackers. They set up firewalls and encrypt data transmissions to prevent the organization’s data from being accessed or used by the wrong people.
They have to monitor reports on computer viruses and share this information with the management or customers. Information security analysts must also train all the organization’s employees to protect their computers and information.
Here are some of the responsibilities of an information security analyst:
- Manage and lead teams of people who perform information assurance and vulnerability management tasks.
- Work on special projects to analyze and model the capabilities, methods, and strategies of cyber terrorists who try to infiltrate maritime IP networks.
- Manage and set up Cisco routers and switches that control the network's boundary.
- Use TrendMicro MobileArmor to encrypt and secure university workstations to prevent losing sensitive data.
- Scan and fix systems to ensure they follow policies, regulations, and controls (such as HIPAA & NIST) that protect information security.
- Monitor and study SIEM events to find and fix security issues.
- Review CID information systems and IAVA procedures related to criminal activity, intelligence, and military IP intrusion detection analysis.
- Give recommendations to the ISSM on planning and solving information system security problems.
- Keep a library of documents of SSPs.
- Scan networks using ISS and NESSUS.
- Create a test plan and test McAfee HBSS.
- Maintain McAfee web filtering and email filtering with Cisco Ironports.
- Monitor and report on how well cloud services follow security rules.
- Set up and advise on how the organization’s security strategies should work.
- Know about different customer bases, DCID, NISPOM, and NISPOMSUP.
What skills are required to become an information security analyst?
Here are the skills you will need to work as an information security analyst in any organization:
Problem-solving: Information security analysts often need to solve hard problems. They look for problems to fix and take action when there's a breach. This requires working together, adapting to changes, and being creative. Analysis: Security analysts regularly look at data. They see how their organizations use computers and networks to store information. When there's a problem, analysts use data to fix it quickly. Attention to detail: Because bad code can be hidden in computer systems for a long time, information security analysts must closely watch their organizations' technology. Small problems can show bigger issues, and careful analysts can find problems early. Communication: Information security analysts must listen carefully when working with others. Teamwork is important in cybersecurity; security analysts must share important information with all employees. Hard skills Software and technology: Information security analysts use different databases and software tools. They use programs for development, programming, network monitoring, and virus protection. They should know programs like Blackboard, Apache Ant, Symantec, and Django. Computer science: Information security analysts use computer science to do their jobs. They work with and write code for computer hardware and software. Engineering and electronics: Analysts must understand how technology and networks work to solve problems. They use engineering and electronics ideas in their work. Management: Information security analysts often lead IT teams and need good management skills. They make plans and rules for information security, manage budgets, and allocate resources.
What is the average salary?
The average salary of Information security analysts in India is ₹602,563 per year, while in the USA, you can expect to earn an average salary of $92,600 per year. However, with your experience, knowledge, and skills, you can get higher packages with more lucrative benefits.
Best certification for information security analysts
ISC2 – Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Today, organizations all over the world face cyberattacks and vulnerability threats, and they need skilled professionals who can deal with such issues. The ISC2 – Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is the most well-known certification that meets the needs of the cyber security domain right now.
The CISSP certification helps your career in cybersecurity and makes you much more valuable in the job market. The CISSP certification training shows you how to plan, implement, and oversee cybersecurity programs. The CISSP certification is best for IT professionals with experience working as CIOs, IT and security managers, architects, consultants, auditors, analysts, and engineers.
The ISC2-CISSP certification online exam covers eight areas: security and risk management, asset security, security architecture, engineering, communications, network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations, and software development security.
You must have five years of work experience in two or more fields to earn this certification. If you have a four-year college degree, you don't have to have a year of work experience. To keep your certification active, you must earn CPEs and recertify your certification every three years.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification focuses on management-based security practices and requires designing, overseeing, and evaluating the information security systems of an organization. The CISM certification teaches you what you need to know to set up security in your organization in a way that fits its business goals.
Currently, there is a huge lack of people who know how to manage information security, so demand is at an all-time high. You must take this online test if you are a security or IT manager, security systems auditor or engineer, IT consultant, chief compliance officer, or information security officer.
The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification program covers four areas: information security governance, risk management, developing and managing security programs, and handling security incidents.
To earn the CISM certification, you must have worked full-time as an information security specialist for five years from the date you passed the exam and managed for three years in three or more of the above practice areas.
Also, once you get the certification, you must pay annual maintenance fees, keep up with ISACA's policy on continuing education, and complete at least 20 contract hours per year, or 120 hours over three years.
ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
CISA is one of the most prestigious certifications to prove your knowledge and skills in how to audit, control, supervise, and analyze your company's IT and business systems. IT professionals with the CISA certification are responsible for ensuring that an organization's IT and business operations run smoothly.
They look at the threats that IT assets face, how they are managed, and how the strategy for reducing threats is implemented and checked. They ensure that the strategies align with risk management, look at the audit results, and make suggestions based on their findings. IT auditors, audit managers, consultants, and security professionals are the ones who should get CISA certification.
The ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification covers a wide range of domains such as the information systems auditing process, governance and management of IT, acquisition and implementation of information systems, operation of information systems and business resilience of information systems, and protection of information assets.
To get the CISA certificate, applicants must have work experience in the listed practice areas within five years of passing the exam, pay an annual certification maintenance fee, follow ISACA's policy on continuing education, and complete at least 20 CPE hours per year, and 120 hours over three years. Along with your education and work experience, this certification gives you an edge over your peers and more credibility at work.
Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
The Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) certification is one of the most prestigious IT certification exams for technical and non-technical individuals who manage risk in an organization. Individuals with CRISC certification are in high demand all over the world because cyberattacks are becoming more and more common.
The CRISC certification gives you in-depth practical knowledge to find possible threats to your organization's information security system and devise a plan to deal with them so business can go on as usual. This certification is ideal for IT professionals, project managers, business analysts, compliance professionals, and business and finance professionals.
With the Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) certification program, you will become proficient at finding and evaluating IT risks, dealing with and reporting them, and keeping the whole IT environment safe and secure.
In order to earn the CRISC certification, you must have used information systems controls at work for at least three years within five years of passing the test. As a certified CRISC professional, you must also pay annual maintenance fees for your certification and follow ISACA's policy on continuing education by completing at least 20 contact hours per year and 120 hours over three years.
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) is the only advanced, hands-on, and performance-based cybersecurity certification for technical professionals.
It sets them apart from cybersecurity managers. The CASP+ certification gives you the technical skills to set up network security, cryptographic techniques, security assessments, and security controls for mobile devices, among other things.
With this certification, you can get high-paying jobs like security engineer, security architect, technical lead analyst, and application security engineer.
The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) certification program covers a number of exam domains, such as risk management, technical integration of enterprise security, enterprise security architecture, research, development, collaboration, and enterprise security operations.
For this certification exam, you must have worked in IT administration for at least ten years and have at least five years of hands-on technical security experience. Also, to keep your certificate active, you must earn 75 continuing education units (CEU) every three years by going to webinars, conferences, training courses, writing books, white papers, and blog posts, and publishing them.
ISC2 – Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
The ISC2 – Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) is the ISO-recognized certification for IT professionals with technical skills and hands-on experience in operational IT roles. Getting the SSCP certification is like getting a badge of honor.
The SSCP certification shows that you know how to set up, monitor, and manage operational IT roles and how to keep business assets safe. The SSCP is the best certification for IT professionals as administrators, engineers, consultants, network analysts, and systems and security analysts.
With this certification, you will become an expert at securing business activities in different industries, opening the door to many high-paying jobs worldwide.
There are seven areas in the SSCP certification exam: access controls, security operations and administration, risk identification, monitoring and analysis, incident response and recovery, cryptography, network and communication security, and systems and application and security.
To earn this certification, you need at least one year of paid work experience in at least one of seven areas to take the test. To keep your SSCP certification active, you must get 60 CPE credits for continuing professional education and renew it every three years.
CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
The CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification exam is among the best information security analyst certifications. Under the new CCNA certification program, you will specialize at the CCNP level, not the CCNA level.
The new certifications will replace the following ones: CCNA cloud, collaboration, data center, industrial, routing and switching, security, service provider, wireless, and CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate). There is no formal prerequisite to take the CCNA certification exam.
However, it's important to have a broad understanding of the exam domains, have worked with computer networking and Cisco equipment for over a year, and understand how networks work.
The new CCNA certification program has the following modules: network basics, IP connectivity, IP services, security basics, network access, and automation and programmability.
We no longer cover network basics, LAN switching, routing, and WAN. You might want to get CCNP certifications like CCNP Enterprise, CCNP Data Center, CCNP Security, CCNP Service Provider, and CCNP Collaboration. For any certification, you must pass two exams: one core (basic) exam and one concentration (advanced) exam.
The final say
Information security analysts can earn the certifications mentioned above to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in different domains of information security.
Information security analysts are one of the most important security workers in any company because they protect data, systems, and networks.
A job as an information security analyst is both hard and worthwhile. These professionals are also in high demand on the job market and can get high-paying jobs all over the world.
If you want to become a successful information security analyst and are looking for a reliable proxy exam center to take the relevant certification —look no further than CBT Proxy.
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