What Does a Cybersecurity Analyst Do?

Security analysts are tasked with evaluating computer systems to ensure that they are protected from security threats. Learn more about what security analysts do here, including key job roles, skills, and responsibilities.

cyber security analyst job description

What Does a Cybersecurity Analyst Do?

Cybersecurity analysts preserve the integrity and confidentiality of an organization’s data and infrastructure by implementing measures to prevent security breaches. They assess any potential system and network vulnerabilities through extensive diagnostic testing and review of incoming traffic.

Based on the critical information gleaned from these investigations, security analysts devise and deploy a variety of risk management strategies. Security analysts also prepare for and respond to attacks, and develop security measures informed by forensic analysis of previous cybersecurity incidents. Security analysts educate users on protocols and best practices and ensure organizational compliance with internal and external security standards.

What Is the Average Salary of a Cybersecurity Analyst?

According to Indeed, the average salary for a security analyst in 2020 is $95,006. On average, an entry-level security analyst earns $82,565 annually. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for security analysts in 2019 was $99,730.

Pay varies by location. The three highest-paying cities for security analysts are:

  • San Francisco: $132,257
  • San Jose: $127,583
  • New York: $123,918
  • Washington, DC: $113,505
  • Atlanta: $96,867
  • New York: $95,678

Learn more about cybersecurity analyst salaries here.

What Are the Key Skills of a Cybersecurity Analyst?

Security analysts employ a variety of hard and soft skills to diagnose and resolve security issues. In addition to a thorough understanding of system and network architectures, security analysts have interface design skills and a strong ability to leverage penetrative testing tools. Security analysts also demonstrate a knack for critical thinking.

While required proficiencies will vary depending on a career path, most ideal candidates have:

  • Technical skills. May include reverse engineering, firewall installation and management, encryption, and ethical hacking.
  • Analytical skills. With careful attention to detail, Security analysts must interpret data from vulnerability assessments to detect suspicious activity and potential threats to security systems.

Learn more about key security analyst skills here.

What Are the Key Responsibilities of a Cybersecurity Analyst?

The core responsibility of a security analyst is to establish and maintain secure networks and systems. A typical security analyst’s responsibilities include:

  • Vulnerability assessments
  • Secure design
  • Compliance review
  • Incident response management

Learn more about the responsibilities of a cybersecurity analyst here.

What Are the Top Cybersecurity Analyst Job Roles?

A security analyst’s job title usually matches their focus within the field. Some job roles specialize in protecting computer networks, while others provide advisory services or develop cyberattack recovery plans.

Here are some of the top security analyst job roles:

  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Network Security Analyst
  • Incident Response Analyst
  • Security Compliance Analyst
  • Application Security Analyst
  • Security Consultant

Learn more about the top cybersecurity analyst job roles here.

What Qualifications Do Cybersecurity Analysts Need?

To conduct end-to-end analysis, security analysts must use programming languages to connect and visualize data. Official certifications also validate mastery of important skills, particularly in the key areas of testing and engineering.

Here are a few key qualifications security analysts have:

  • Scripting and programming proficiency. Security analysts utilize Python, SQL, Shell, Java, C++, and more.
  • Accreditations. CEH (Certified Ethical Hacking) and CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) are highly valued computer science certifications in the field, particularly for senior analyst roles.

In addition to these technical proficiencies, security analysts must employ strategic thinking, problem-solving, and keen interpersonal skills.

Cybersecurity Analyst Job Description and Job Duties

Across job roles, security analysts build innovative solutions for protecting information systems and sensitive data. These solutions often take the form of preventive measures incorporated into system or network architecture.

Here are a few of the duties that a security analyst regularly performs:

  • Security software monitoring and maintenance
  • Reporting and analyzing findings
  • Drafting protocol recommendations
  • Communicating recommendations to a security team

Cyber event management is also a core responsibility of security analysts, but a typical day in the field revolves around the evaluation and review of networks and systems.

How Do You Get An Entry-Level Cybersecurity Analyst Job?

To land an entry-level security analyst job, ideal candidates must demonstrate the skills necessary to make software and applications more secure. Hiring managers want to see how you’ve applied these skills in your previous experience.

While a bachelor’s degree can help prepare you for a security analyst role, you can also get an entry-level security analyst job after completing a cybersecurity bootcamp.

Comprehensive bootcamp programs offer an opportunity to build your professional portfolio and demonstrate a clear application of skills via significant hands-on experience. Bootcamps will also assist you in the process of obtaining valuable security analyst certifications.

Learn more about the steps you need to take to become a cybersecurity analyst here.

Is cybersecurity the right career for you?

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the cybersecurity industry is expected to have 3.5 million high-paying, unfilled jobs this year. With Springboard’s comprehensive Cyber Security Career Track, you’ll work 1:1 with an industry-mentor to learn key aspects of information technology, security software, security auditing, and finding and fixing malicious code. Learning units include subject-expert approved resources, application-based mini-projects, hands-on labs, and career-search related coursework.

The course will culminate in a multi-part capstone project that you can highlight on your resume for prospective employers or use to demonstrate your technical knowledge in your job interview. The learning materials will also help prepare you to pass the globally-recognized CompTIA Security+  certification so you stand out when applying for cybersecurity roles.

Learn more about Springboard’s Cyber Security Career Track here.

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