Career Definition of an Information Security Analyst
An information security analyst ensures all computer networks in a business are safeguarded from potential cyberattacks. Individuals in this position may be tasked with regularly checking for and managing network intrusions, defending sensitive data and proactively searching for weaknesses in computer systems.
Information security analysts may be required to keep records of network intrusions, design standard procedures for maintaining an organization's network security and suggest strategies for strengthening security. Additional responsibilities could include keeping up to date with the newest developments in IT security and helping individuals understand or install security products.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree in computer science or related field; an MBA in information systems may be preferred|
|Job Skills||Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, ability to multitask, attention to detail and desire to learn the latest developments in IT security|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$95,510|
|Job Outlook (2016 - 2026)*||28%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that most employers require individuals interested in the information security analyst position to hold at minimum a bachelor's degree in computer science or related fields like programming or information assurance. It is also common for employers to request applicants to have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems, according to the BLS.
In addition to possessing a bachelor's degree or MBA, employers commonly look for applicants to have experience in an associated IT field. While not always required, employers are often likely to give more consideration to applicants with information security certificates of a general or specialized nature.
Information security analysts should have a comprehensive understanding of computer networks and be able to examine and outline the best solutions for protecting against potential threats. The position requires analysts to be problem-solvers who can regularly survey systems for vulnerabilities and quickly identify and respond to any security breaches.
Research skills can help information security analysts stay on top of new risks, and creativity can help analysts develop new strategies for securing networks and systems.
Career Outlook and Salary
According to the BLS, job opportunities for information security analysts are expected to increase by 28% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than average when compared to all occupations. Over the same period, the BLS notes, career opportunities for information security analysts focused on specific fields like computer systems design are expected to see an astounding 56% increase. A primary reason for these increases in growth is a greater need for help in protecting computer networks and newer innovations like cloud services against hackers.
In May 2017, information security analysts earned a median annual wage of $95,510, the BLS reports. The highest-paying industries for this position over this period included information, computer systems design, and finance/insurance.
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