Information Security Analyst Job Description
Information security analysts are responsible for protecting an organization’s digital information and computer networks. Depending on their area of specialty, they may work on safeguarding an organization’s network, digital files, user accounts, or other sensitive information. In today’s world, most organizations store a lot of information on the internet and their internal networks, and information security breaches are very common — even when all the proper precautions are taken. Data can be extremely valuable, and attackers often use sophisticated attacks to get it.
Unfortunately, holes in a system can be difficult to spot until they’ve been exploited, and solutions for closing a hole aren’t always immediately available. Information security analysts have to continue learning new things all the time so that they can effectively combat attacks on their organizations’ information and networks. This can be a very stressful occupation at times, particularly when an attacker gains access to data that they shouldn’t have.
It can take time to identify how an attacker got through, and it can be hard to focus on the job at hand when stakeholders within an organization are losing their cool about the situation. Once the source of the problem is discovered, it can still take a considerable effort to close the hole. In some cases, information security analysts are at the mercy of software publishers to provide a patch for their software before they can truly fix the problem.
Most information security analysts work full time, and are sometimes able to work regular schedules during normal business hours. However, many people in this occupation are on call at all times, and may need to work very long hours when emergencies arise. Some people have a difficult time relaxing when they’re on call, and being on call can definitely be disruptive to family life. Before you decide to pursue a career in this occupation, you should consider how it might impact your personal life. It can be a rewarding occupation, but it isn’t for everyone.
How to Become an Information Security Analyst
Most information security analysts have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. Some schools even offer programs in information security, which can lead to a pretty direct path into this occupation. As information security becomes more advanced and businesses store more and more information on their networks, many employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in information systems.
These programs take about two years to complete, and include both computer science and business courses. Most information security analysts have experience in a related occupation before they move into this field. For example, database administrators (DBAs) often make great candidates for database security position, and network administrators make great candidates for network security roles.
There are currently 302,300 information security analysts in the United States, with 11,030 new information security analyst job openings created each year.
Information Security Analyst jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Information Security Analyst Salaries
Information Security Analyst salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most information security analysts make between $58,300 – $101,600 per year, or $28.03 – $48.83 per hour.