Most entry level positions required at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Hiring managers usually prefer to recruit analysts who have experience in another related field. The salary for entry-level security analyst jobs is typically high compared to other security analyst jobs. In May 2020, the median annual salary for security analyst positions was nearly $99,000. This amount is expected to increase in coming years.
There are many colleges and universities that offer information security analyst programs. Students can get training through distance learning or on campus programs. There are many reasons why these positions are in demand. One reason is because cyber-crime is widespread and companies must implement protective measures to protect their intellectual property.
Another reason is that information security analyst roles require analytical skills that cannot be learned through a classroom course. Analysts must be able to interpret and analyze threat assessments and assess a company’s security posture. The security analyst role requires not only good writing, and oral communications but also an understanding of how to assess threats and work within a security framework. Security analysts should be prepared to communicate with decision makers and other individuals in an accurate and organized manner.
Salaries for a security analyst role depend on the level of education completed and field experience. Graduates with an associate’s degree earn more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Those with master’s degrees earn even more. The salary range for those working in the information security analyst role is dependent on experience, location and level of expertise.
A typical day for a security analyst will include reviewing security policies and procedures and performing assessments of system vulnerabilities. These assessments are performed using a variety of techniques. Some security analysts test systems for response times, response failure rates, detection of breaches, system downtime and penetration, access and resistance to attack, and software configuration vulnerabilities. Other tests may include checking for known vulnerabilities in software applications and reviewing intrusion detection systems.
Once an assessment is conducted, the next step is to create a policy or procedure for implementing the recommended measures. This policy may be formal or informal and is usually targeted at the specific department or level of the enterprise. Once this policy is in place, it is implemented and monitoring is required to ensure it remains intact. Then, test personnel to ensure they are trained in its implementation and follow the procedures consistently. Those who do not follow procedures are dealt with according to the department or office in which they are employed.
Ethical hacking is a type of specialty within information security analyst skills. This is a subset of the security analyst job description and involves testing for weaknesses in a system that compromises information or security. Unlike a normal security tester, an ethical hacker will not look for vulnerabilities but will instead locate a hole in the security system and find ways to exploit it. These hackers are engaged in “white hat” activities such as testing for system vulnerabilities so that they can find flaws before they are made public. They may also perform reverse engineering or locate a weakness and then find a way to repair it.
A major part of the job requires performing reverse engineering on a system. If an analyst does not know how to perform this task, the whole network could be in danger. For example, if an unauthorized user finds a way to gain access to a software application that accesses a database, the entire network could be compromised. Ethical hackers use techniques such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other server attacks that compromise a website’s security. For information security analysts, learning these techniques and using them to protect a company is an important skill that should not be taken lightly.