How to become a Cybersecurity Analyst

How to become a Cybersecurity Analyst

If you are considering a career as a Cybersecurity Analyst, you will need to obtain hands-on technical experience, understand networks and information systems and stay current in cybersecurity training.

As far as technology careers go, cybersecurity is a newer field. There are numerous paths that one can take if one wishes to be a Cybersecurity Analyst. While some jobs will require a bachelor's degree in programming, computer science, or a similar field, others are simply looking for people with the right skills. The demand for cybersecurity professionals is increasing, leaving companies to hire staff with proper technical experience and skills that can be gained through proper practice and training.

Become a Cybersecurity Analyst in 5 Steps

Breaking down your goals will help you check items off your list without becoming overwhelmed. Think of the following as your outline when you embark on this career.

  • Conduct industry research
  • Learn the fundamentals of cybersecurity
  • Obtain a cybersecurity certificate
  • Practice technical cybersecurity skills
  • Apply to relevant job postings

Understand Cybersecurity Fundamentals

Familiarize yourself with the threat landscape if you are thinking of working in a cybersecurity analyst position. Staying current on threats and being capable of identifying vulnerabilities is essential as technologies evolve and change.

Learn how different systems can become threatened, how to detect and anticipate threats and practice cybersecurity fundamentals. You will want to become familiar with specific elements that are related including switching and routing, firewalls, network protocol and architecture, and other items.

Conduct Industry Research

Cybersecurity must constantly evolve. Technology is always innovating, and, in turn, cyber attackers are coming up with new tactics and workarounds.

To be a successful Cybersecurity Analyst, it is important to stay on top of new developments in the cybersecurity and cybercrime world. By understanding new trends in security and information technology, you can ensure your knowledge and skills match current needs.

Learn Technical Cybersecurity Skills with Practice

Once you have learned about cybersecurity fundamentals, it is essential to practice cybersecurity tasks and apply your knowledge to master your skills. Using encryption to secure information, analyzing network traffic and performing security audits.

Check out different online training labs that specialize in cybersecurity. They offer a simulated workplace environment, giving you the chance to put your training to practice and handle authentic challenges.

What are the Uses for Cybersecurity?

Protecting data and systems from cyberattacks is the main aspect of cybersecurity. Companies and people rely on cybersecurity to keep their data safe from unauthorized access.

Businesses that rely on an internet connection, which is typically most businesses, need to have cybersecurity options available. A useful system will offer many layers of protection on networks, programs and devices. Tools including antivirus software and firewalls can be implemented with best practices to help keep data protected.

The cases of cybercrime are rising. This makes cybersecurity an essential piece of the protection puzzle. Statistics show over 15.1 billion records were exposed in 2019 and over 7000 breaches were reported. The 2021 projections for cybercrime damage are estimated to be more than six trillion dollars. This means there are ample job opportunities in this growing field.

Study for a Cybersecurity Certificate

Taking courses in cybersecurity is a smart way to hone your skills. You can learn about the related tools and technology and today's threat landscape to earn a cybersecurity designation. Understanding how certain tools can protect and detect threats is vital to your career.

Look for courses that will offer you a thorough comprehension of the various information systems and how they operate. Next, you want to learn about the specific tools and best practices to identify these threats to be able to defend against cyber attacks. Obtain a cybersecurity certificate for your efforts and use it on your resume when you are applying for a job. This can help you stand above other Cybersecurity Analyst's who are applying for the same position. These certificates are extra useful if you are just beginning in this field or do not have a strong technical background.

How Fast Is the Cybersecurity Field Growing?

Seventy percent of professionals in the cybersecurity industry reported that their business has a current skills shortage, according to data from the Information Systems Security Association and the Enterprise Strategy Group. With the demand for these services on the rise, companies are seeking individuals who have the proper skills.

This is considered to be one of the fastest-growing jobs. The American Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that between 2016 and 2026, the demand for Information Security Analysts will grow up to twenty-eight percent. This equals an increase of approximately 28,500 jobs for the labor market.

Unfortunately, cybercrime is happening more prominently these days. No person or company that relies on any online system is immune to issues. Frustrating breaches of data have resulted in millions of lost dollars. More high-profile organizations are falling victim to these problems, causing the need for cybersecurity professionals to be higher now than ever before.

What is the Definition of a Cybersecurity Analyst?

An Information Security Analyst is also known as a Cybersecurity Analyst. They are responsible for protecting a businesses' servers and networks. They evaluate, plan and implement security strategies to prevent breaches. This is important to ensure that the digital assets of a company remain secure.

Cybersecurity Analysts have the role of determining if any weaknesses are present in information systems. They develop solutions and strategies to fix these issues. They install encryption and software, review suspicious activity, and research new trends for information technology. They also are responsible for educating employees about security measures. In the event a cyber attack takes place, these analysts often take the lead for helping recover and defend from the attack.

Apply for Cybersecurity Jobs that are Relevant

There is a large demand for cybersecurity personnel. Estimates predict that there will be over 3 million globally unfulfilled jobs by 2021. Some of the most highly sought-after cybersecurity jobs are:

  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Consultant
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Vulnerability Analyst
  • Systems Administrator
  • Systems Engineer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Forensic Computer Analyst
  • Penetration Tester
  • Network Architect or Engineer
  • Cybersecurity Consultant

There are numerous job titles and additional cybersecurity positions available. These careers will grow and evolve along with technology and as changes occur within the threat landscape.

If I Have No Experience, Can I Become A Cybersecurity Analyst?

If you have zero experience in cybersecurity, you can still obtain the right training and knowledge to become a successful Cybersecurity Analyst. You will first have to learn cybersecurity fundamentals. There are numerous programs and courses available that can deliver basic knowledge regarding security and systems. You can learn about databases, operating systems, administration, and network architecture.

After you have learned about the fundamentals, you will need to develop specific technical skills. Cybersecurity Analysts work to defend and protect networks and systems. You will need to have foundational technology skills including web application administration and system knowledge. You can also practice cybersecurity skills by relying on virtual training labs including ethical hacking and penetration testing.

Coding Skill Requirements

Not every Cybersecurity Analyst job needs coding skills to succeed. However, learning some basic understanding regarding computer languages including Python, SQL, JavaScript, C++, PHP and C will be extremely helpful for you. As your career advances, there will be many opportunities to utilize these language skills.

Earning a certificate in cybersecurity is very useful if you have limited experience. Certifications let employers know that you have obtained the required training and are committed to staying current in cybersecurity topics. Some of the most popular certificates include CEH or Certified Ethical Hacker, CISM or Certified Information Security Manager, CISSP or Certified Information Systems Security Professional and CompTIA Security+.

How Much Do Cybersecurity Analysts Make?

On average, the typical salary for a Cybersecurity Analyst ranges from $80K to $160K.