INFORMATION SECURITY ANALYST DEGREE
Information security analysts have numerous roles in an organization or business. Some of the roles are to help create, implement, and maintain security for databases and other electronic assets. An information security analyst degree is needed to enter this competitive field.
WHAT YOU'LL DO ON THE JOB
The duties of information security analysts include the following:
- Monitoring and reporting security issues
- Detect and prevent electronic threats
- Management of networks
- Creation of prevention systems
- Security management solutions
- Thwart intrusions into electronic systems
- Audit external and internal security threats
- Monitor threat and risk assessments
- Comply with security standards and procedures
These duties may involve dealing with vulnerability assessments, firewall-change requests, and security incidents as these arise. Security analysts also keep current with the latest developments in electronic security and security tools, as well as the business or organization's changing security requirements. This means being responsive to not only to the threats, but ongoing business needs in the role of counseling on problem solving with security alerts and disasters as these arise.
SALARY AND JOB GROWTH EXPECTATIONS
The role of information security analysts is important to many companies. This is true for organizations and companies that deal with sensitive databases such as banks and healthcare organizations. For example, patient data in healthcare organizations must be kept private. In growing sectors such as healthcare, information security analysts play pivotal roles in these organizations.
Demand, therefore, is high for those with information security analyst degrees. Job growth for these professions is expected to reach 31% over the next decade, much faster than average. The salaries for information security analysts are expected to remain high with the average salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for this profession at $104,210 per year, with an average pay of $50.10 per hour. As with any profession, continued experience and further education is useful to a successful career.
Information security analysts are usually required to have at least a bachelor's degree. Beyond this, it is essential for professionals to have further training for successful careers.
Your education should begin in high school where math, science, and computer science will help you excel in an information security analyst role. Writing and communication skills, with emphasis on technical communications and writing are useful to be able to communicate security issues to clients, peers, and non-specialists. In college or university classes, most employers want analysts who have specialized training in computer security issues.
For a bachelor's degree, information security analysts tend to focus on subjects such as
- Windows and Unix operating systems
- Detection of computer viruses
- Information security ethics
- Information security law
- Auditing functions
- Security compliance
- Data protection
- Security infrastructure design
- Specialties such as e-commerce and telecommunications
While earning a bachelor degree is critical to your chosen profession, a master's or higher degree in information security analysis can make your career skills and experience more valuable to potential employers. Keeping up with certification is critical to succeeding in your field.
Common certificates for information security analysts are
- Certified Ethical Hacker
- Chief Information Security Officers (CISO)
- Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Network +
- Certified Computer Forensics Examiner (CCFE)
These exams are examples of tests and certifications that information security analysts may take to enhance their professional skills and chances of employment, but it is essential that security analysts join professional organizations to keep up with current trends in forensics, data security, and other aspects of their professions. Belonging to a professional organization can help you with current trends, employment opportunities, and education possibilities.
Some organizations for information security analysts are the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, Inc. The ISSA can help you keep involved with your profession and current with trends in the information security analyst business. The association's stated goals are to provide international conferences, seminars, and local chapter meetings and seminars for training, education, and networking opportunities, and to provide access to information through the ISSA Website, its E-Newsletters, and the monthly ISSA Journal.
The organization gives its members opportunities to earn CPE credits through chapter meetings, ISSA Web Conferences, and through subscription to the ISSA Journal. The ISSA gives its members leadership opportunities at chapter or international levels as council leaders, through participation on committees, and through sharing experience and expertise as an event speaker or as a contributor to the ISSA Journal.
The mission of the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, Inc. is to provide its members with educational resources, credentials, certification, and leadership in cyber-information, software, and infrastructure security. It has many certification programs for its members in information systems security, authorization, systems security, secure software life cycle, forensics, cloud security, security engineering, computer architecture security, and security management, among others.
Whatever organization or certification program you pick, it is useful to be knowledgeable about current trends for a successful information security analyst career.