Career Definition of an Information Security Risk Analyst
With the shift to digital and online data, maintaining strong security is very important. Information security risk analysts work with a company's computer systems to assess potential security issues. They defend and preserve computer networks, cloud storage, online security, and database security by staying on top of emerging information technology trends and cybersecurity threats. They may recommend enhancements, respond to violations, install software, and design recovery plans.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree in computer science or related field|
|Skills Required||Knowledge of information technology and cyber security, excellent communication skills, analytical thinking skills, ability to work in a fast-paced environment|
|Median Salary (2018)*|| $98,350 per year
$47.28 per hour
|Career Outlook (2016-2026)*||28% (much faster than average)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Information security risk analysts need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a field like computer science, computer programming or information security. They need to have a good understanding of computer networking technology, networking administration, and internet security practices. To ensure business knowledge, employers may prefer candidates who have a Master of Business Administration with an IT specialization.
Information security risk analysts can maintain and demonstrate their knowledge and skills by obtaining certifications with different technologies and updating those certifications as time goes on. Common certifications include the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+). Certifications are also available from vendors including Cisco, Unix, and Linux as well as in various cloud computing security and firewall technologies.
Information security risk analysts need to have a thorough understanding of computer networking systems, database administration, and internet security. They must stay up to date on current and emerging technological trends and be able to implement those for the safety of their company's computer networks. Because information security risk analysts are responsible for large amounts of sensitive data, they must maintain knowledge of IT standards, regulations, and laws.
Additionally, they must address threats to computer network security quickly and efficiently. As a result, analytical thinking skills are key, as is the ability to apply that thinking in a fast-paced environment. The ability to communicate technological concepts to non-tech savvy business professionals is extremely helpful.
Career Outlook and Salary
Internet technologies are constantly evolving and growing. As the need for safe ways to utilize and share sensitive data increase with this growth, the need for information security risk analysts grows with it. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 28% employment increase for information security analysts during the 2016-2026 decade, which is much faster than the average growth for all jobs in the US. The median salary for information security analysts as of 2018 was $98,350, reports the BLS. The bottom 10% of earners made $56,750 or less per year; the top 10% of information security analysts earned $156,580 or more per year.
If the world of data science and information security is of interest to you, there are several careers you could also consider.