Cybersecurity is one of today's most important and in-demand fields. Cyberattacks are becoming more frequent and threatening, seriously threatening individuals, businesses, and governments.
To protect their data and systems from hackers, organizations need skilled professionals who can analyze, prevent, and respond to cyber threats. These professionals are known as cybersecurity analysts.
In this blog post, we will explore what cybersecurity analysts do, what skills and certifications they need, how much they earn, and what kinds of jobs are available. If you are interested in pursuing a cybersecurity career, this post will give you a comprehensive overview of the role and its opportunities. Keep on reading!
What is a cybersecurity analyst?
A cybersecurity analyst is a computer professional who protects computer systems and networks from cyber threats. They evaluate security risks, implement solutions to reduce them, and track networks for unauthorized access or malicious activity.
A cybersecurity analyst may also perform vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. Conversely, cybersecurity analysts collaborate with other IT professionals to secure systems and protect confidential data. Cybersecurity analysts strive to preserve information systems' confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
- Are high in demand as cybercrime and vulnerability attacks are increasing
- Get well-paid jobs and other perks
- Have the chance for lifelong learning and development opportunities
- Have the ability to work on a remote site
- Possess a greater job stability and growth potential
How does a cybersecurity analyst work?
A cybersecurity analyst works to protect organizations from cyber threats by securing their computer systems and networks. They identify security risks, design solutions to prevent them and detect any unauthorized access or harmful activity on the networks.
A cyber security analyst may also conduct tests to assess the vulnerability and resilience of the systems. They cooperate with other IT professionals to ensure the systems' and data's security and integrity. The job of a cybersecurity analyst is to ensure that information systems are secure and reliable.
Cybersecurity analyst skills
Here’s the breakdown of cybersecurity analyst skills, with the percentage:
Incident Response (8%): They start Computer Security Incident Response activities for a big organization and work with other government agencies to report and record incidents.
Windows (6%): They write standard operating procedures for Windows forensic analysis, including memory analysis using Volatility.
SIEM (5%): They use ArcSight SIEM or access devices to check OSI layers 2-7 for malicious traffic, vulnerabilities, or other anomalies.
DOD (5%): They design and build DoD network infrastructures.
Linux (4%): They install, monitor and support Web and Application Servers on Linux environments.
Security Events (4%): They collaborate with the provider of Security Event Monitoring, review security events and manage the investigation and remediation of any issues.
Roles and responsibilities of a cybersecurity analyst
The main duty of a cybersecurity analyst is to plan and implement security measures to protect a company’s computer networks and systems. They monitor their organization’s networks for security breaches and keep up with the latest threats.
They also install software and encryption, report and fix security issues, learn new IT trends, train the company’s information security team on security, and test the network and system vulnerabilities by simulating security attacks.
Some of the specific tasks that cybersecurity analysts perform in their roles are:
- Meet all the requirements to get an ATO before release.
- Use site-to-site VPN technology to secure and automate transactions between FMC and its business partners.
- Led technical projects to reduce the cardholder data environment and the scope of PCI-related environments.
- Analyze logs and manage the accuracy of DLP identification to avoid or reduce false positives and negatives.
- Review and manage the database applications, structure, and architecture for security and information assurance.
- Implement and manage an endpoint encryption solution using TrendMicro MobileArmor to protect university workstations from sensitive data loss.
- Find root causes of technical issues by researching Linux and Windows log files.
- Use SIEM technologies and other native tools to monitor security events on a 24x7 basis.
- Support internal corporate and external customer needs and PCI, HIPAA, and other regulatory compliance requirements.
- Monitor network traffic utilization using SPLUNK software with dashboard graphing, charting, and reporting.
- Identify and investigate potential issues by finding suspicious and abnormal activity using Splunk by analyzing firewall and proxy logs.
- Monitor and assist in configuring security systems for routers, switches, and firewalls to ensure proper connectivity and configuration.
- Conduct near real-time network security monitoring and intrusion detection analysis using a security information and event management (SIEM) application.
- Have advanced knowledge in TCP/IP suite and routing protocols, such as OSPF, BGP, and EIGRP.
- Perform SQL queries and conduct audits to ensure compliance.
What is the average salary of a cybersecurity analyst?
The average salary of a cybersecurity analyst is about $88,422 per year in the United States. Their yearly salaries vary from $66,000 to $117,000, depending on their experience and skills. And when it comes to hourly rates, cybersecurity analysts can get an average of $42.51 per hour.
What is the cybersecurity analyst certification?
A cybersecurity analyst certification is a credential that validates the skills and knowledge of a professional who works in the field of cybersecurity. With cybersecurity certifications, you can demonstrate to your potential employers that you have the essential knowledge and skills for the cybersecurity analyst role.
There are, for example, many cybersecurity analyst certifications, depending on the level of expertise, the domain of specialization, and the vendor or organization that offers them.
Here are the popular certifications for cybersecurity analysts
Security 5 Certification
The Security5 certification is an entry-level security credential from the EC-Council that covers the basics of computer networking and security. It teaches you the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to network computers securely. Security 5 stands for five components of IT Security: Firewalls, Anti-Virus, IDS, Networking, and Web Security.
The Security 5 certification program validates your competence in using PC Networking skills and essential concepts of IT Security. The Security 5 certification exam covers the following domains: foundations of security, basic security procedures, desktop security, administering Windows securely, recognizing security threats and attacks, secure internet access, working on the internet, knowing online payment systems, and incident response.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional - Architecture (CISSP)
To earn the CISSP-ISSAP credential, you need to have two years of professional experience in the field of architecture. The CISSP-ISSAP certification is suitable for Chief Security Architects and Analysts who often work as independent consultants or in similar roles.
The architect is a key member of the information security department who bridges the gap between the C-suite and upper management level and the implementation of the security program. You would typically create, design, or evaluate the overall security plan. This role may be more related to the technology aspect, but it also involves a lot of consultation and analysis of information security.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is a prestigious credential for information security professionals with the skills and knowledge to design, implement, and manage a best-in-class cybersecurity program.
The CISSP certification is offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)², a leading organization for IT governance, risk, and security professionals.
The CISSP certification is ideal for experienced security practitioners, managers, and executives responsible for an organization's overall security posture. With the CISSP certification, you can get job roles such as Chief Information Security Officer, Director of Security, Security Architect, Security Consultant, and Network Architect.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
The CISM certification is a program for experienced information security managers and those with information security management roles. It is for those who manage, design, oversee, and/or evaluate an organization's information security (IS).
The CISM certification shows that you follow international practices and can provide effective security management and consulting services to executive management.
You also join an elite group of peers who have this unique credential. The CISM job practice defines the global job description and the evaluation method for the information security manager.
Network 5 Certification
EC-Council offers Network5 certification as a beginner-level security certification for those who want to learn about Computer Networking Concepts. Network5 certification exam is suitable for anyone who wants to gain knowledge of Networking Concepts. The Network 5 certification exam covers a wide range of domains, including network foundations, networking components, LAN technologies, basic hardware components, network connectivity, wireless network, networking environment, and troubleshooting.
GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
The GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) certification is a credential that demonstrates a practitioner’s knowledge and skills in information security beyond simple terminology and concepts. The GIAC GSEC is a globally recognized certification approved by the US Department of Defense and many other organizations.
The GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) certification exam covers a wide range of topics such as defense in depth, cryptography, cloud security, incident handling, Linux and Windows security, and more.
To earn the GSEC certification, you need to pass a proctored exam that consists of 106-180 questions and has a time limit of 4-5 hours. The minimum passing score is 73%. The GSEC certification is one of the well-known and widely-accepted credentials for anyone who wants to prove their skills and knowledge in information security and advance their career.
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)
The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certification is a credential that shows your advanced skills and knowledge in cybersecurity. It is a vendor-neutral, hands-on, performance-based certification covering security architecture and engineering and risk management, compliance, and threat response.
It is designed for technical professionals who design, implement, and assess security solutions in various environments, such as cloud, hybrid, and on-premises. The CompTIA CASP certification exam tests your ability to apply security practices to cloud, endpoint, mobile, and cryptographic infrastructure while considering governance, risk, and compliance requirements.
Cybersecurity analyst career path
A cybersecurity analyst is a role blessed with a wide range of career options and possibilities. Many cybersecurity analysts, for example, begin their careers as intrusion detection analysts. With more experience and knowledge, they can advance to higher roles or even executive-level positions, such as information assurance officer.
However, here are some of the job roles—with their average salaries—that you can take on with cybersecurity analyst certification:
- Intrusion Detection Analyst - $86,862
- Airline Security Representative - $45,069
- Cyber Security Analyst - $88,422
- Security Engineer - $104,524
- Information Assurance Officer - $105,312
The bottom line
Working as a cyber security analyst means that you are responsible for protecting a company’s network and systems from cyber-attacks.
You need to know the new industry concepts, create contingency plans, monitor suspicious activities, report security incidents, and educate your team on security practices. You must also implement security measures and controls to prevent cyber threats and vulnerability attacks.
If you are interested in becoming a certified cybersecurity analyst and looking for a reliable source to take the relevant certification exam, you have come to the right place. CBT Proxy has been in the field for over a decade now, helping thousands of IT professionals get their desired certifications.
And now it’s your turn to earn yours! To learn more about the cyber security analyst certification exam, click the chat buttons below (WhatsApp or Telegram), and one of our guides will contact you soon.