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How to Become an Information Security Analyst

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Information security analysts have an important job. They keep an organization's networks and computers safe from outside threats. As cyber attacks increase, their role in the workplace and society will grow. If you're skilled with computers and can also think like a hacker, this could be the perfect career for you.

What Do Information Security Analysts Do?

This job requires something as basic as setting up a firewall on employees' computers to protecting an entire corporation's data from being hacked or corrupted. As an information security analyst, you are in charge of developing a disaster recovery plan and making sure data is backed up and safely stored on a regular basis. Some of the tasks the job might include are:

  • Monitor networks for security breaches. 
  • Investigate if and when a violation occurs.
  • Protect sensitive information using software such as firewalls and data encryption programs.
  • Prepare reports documenting any security breaches.
  • Conduct simulated attacks to figure out how to prevent actual cyber attacks.
  • Keep up-to-date on all IT security trends.
  • Develop best practices for security standards. 

How to Become an Information Security Analyst

Most positions in the information security field require a bachelor's degree at the minimum in computer science, programming or a related field. More advanced positions might require an MBA in information systems. Work experience in a related occupation is helpful, and there are a number of certifications which many employers want you to have.

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is one of the most respected and well known of these certificates. It requires not only passing an exam but experience and/or education in the field. Other employers might have other certifications in mind with a more specialized focus.

Career Prospects for Information Security Analysts

Employment for positions in this field is projected to grow 28 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than all other occupations, as reported by the Bureau of Labor. Compare this to all other computer occupations, which are only projected to grow 13 percent.

We read about massive data breaches frequently these days. In coming years, more security analysts will be needed to protect sensitive data at a variety of institutions and corporations.

How Much Do Information Security Analysts Make?

The median annual wage in May of 2016 for information security analysts was $92,600. The median wage varied by field. Security analysts in finance and insurance made the highest median wage at $94,050. Those in the management of companies and enterprises made the lowest median wage of $87,510.

This is an ever-expanding and necessary field for which you are well-paid. Consider a career as an information security analyst if you want job security in your future.

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About the Author

Heather Skyler is a journalist and novelist who has written for wide variety of publications, including Newsweek, The New York Times and SKY magazine.