By DeVry University
Cyber security analysts use a range of technological abilities and skills to help them identify and fix weaknesses in a computer network’s security systems to protect it from attacks and unwelcome access from cybercriminals.
If you’re considering entering the cyber security field, chances are your questions extend beyond, “what does a cyber security analyst do every day?” Read on to learn more about cyber security analysts and what it takes to become one as we discuss:
Is Cyber Security Analysis a Growing Field?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysis is a growing field. Their projections show that the industry will grow by 33% on a national level, which is much faster than the average. They expect this growth to result in about 47,100 new jobs for information and cyber security analysts1.
What Skills Do Cyber Security Analysts Need?
To help them create security measures and develop strategies to prevent cyberattacks, cyber security analysts need to have a broad range of technical abilities. Some important skills needed to help you succeed as a cyber security analyst include:
- Programming: Programming languages form the basis of everything related to computers. Cyber security analysts should be acquainted with a few programming languages in order build and develop networks and software and analyze them for weak points.
- Security planning and auditing: All cyber security analysts need to know how to evaluate existing security measures and know how to strengthen and improve their defense capabilities.
- Digital device competency: While it’s impossible to be familiar with every type of device, a cyber security analyst should be able to understand the basic characteristics of how devices are built and how they work with one another.
- Familiarity with small enterprise networks: Many businesses use small enterprise networks to maintain their day-to-day communications. Cyber security analysts need to understand how they work when bolstering network security.
- OS architecture and design: An operating system (OS) is the thing that allows all computers to function. A cyber security analyst needs to know what could impact these systems and how to correct any issues should an operating system be jeopardized.
- Ethical hacking: Ethical hacking is attempting to break into a network in order to test the strength of a security system. Cyber security analysts use this skill to identify and correct any weaknesses in security plans.
- Systems administration: A cyber security analyst also needs to know how to set and approve system permissions so that only employees that work with certain information have access to it.
- Digital literacy: All cyber security analysts need to be familiar with how the internet, digital devices and modern communication methods all work together.
Cyber Security Analyst Job Duties
A cyber security analyst has a wide range of responsibilities, which may vary depending on what company they’re working for. However, some of the general duties that a cyber security analyst might encounter are:
Review Security Systems
Analyzing security systems is one of the primary responsibilities of a cyber security analyst. To do this, they employ a variety of skills such as penetration testing and running security audits. These audits can help them determine who has access to various levels of a network and determine whether or not their clearance matches their responsibilities. While completing the audit, they also write up reports that communicate their findings, and recommend measures to increase or improve security.
Set Security Protocols
After analyzing a company’s security systems, a cyber security analyst works on building security protocols. These protocols may include adding firewalls and encryption methods to certain portions of a network or database. They may also include setting up processes for accessing and transferring sensitive data safely.
Configure Security Tools
Cyber security analysts use a variety of tools to keep an organization’s networks safe. They determine whether or not the company will use a VPN and what encryption programs to install, should they need it. They also determine what or who can or cannot pass through these barriers.
Petition for Security Software and Hardware Upgrades
In the event that their analysis shows a weakness that cannot be fixed with their existing tools, a cyber security analyst will have to petition for upgrades. These upgrades could come in the form of new computers that have increased processing power to run programs that prevent data breaches or upgrading to more effective security software programs.
Investigate Security Incidents
In the event of a security breach, a cyber security analyst investigates what, how and why it happened in order to construct countermeasures that will prevent similar incidents in the future.
Thinking about a Career in Cyber Security?
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in cyber security, then you may be ready to take the first step by earning a degree in cyber security. At DeVry, we offer multiple degrees to help you work toward your goals, including an Undergraduate Certificate in Cyber Security, an Associate degree in Cybersecurity and Networking, Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology and Networking with a Specialization in Cyber Security and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems with a Specialization in Cyber Security Programming. Each of these programs is led by knowledgeable faculty who will help you develop foundational skills as you prepare to pursue a career in this growing field. Classes start every 8 weeks.
1Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary by location.