A New Tool to Assist You in Becoming a Cybersecurity Analyst

When searching for options you have for becoming a cybersecurity analyst or advancing your career as a cybersecurity analyst, there are many websites available. However, many of them offer different pieces of information, and trying to digest all of this and decide what steps you need to take can be a laborious and time-consuming process.

But now there is a new tool which offers all of this information in just one location, which can be easily accessed with just a few clicks of the mouse. This is CyberSeek.

CyberSeek has extensive information on multiple career pathways, including the path to becoming a cybersecurity analyst. Their information on this topic can be seen here.

What Is a Cybersecurity Analyst?

There are countless job titles in the cybersecurity industry, and some of them are in heavier demand than others. One title that is in high demand is the cybersecurity analyst. But what exactly is a cybersecurity analyst? Writing for Rasmussen College, Brianna Flavin defined the role as follows:

“Cyber security analysts (also called information security analysts) plan and carry out security measures to protect a company’s computer networks and systems…They keep constant tabs on threats and monitor their organization’s networks for any breaches in security…this involves installing software and encryption, reporting breaches or weak spots, researching IT trends, educating the rest of the company on security—and even simulating security attacks to find potential vulnerabilities.” (Source)

The role of a cybersecurity analyst is critical to any business or corporation. Not only do they work closely with the IT security staff in keeping their lines of defenses up to date with the latest tools and technologies, but the bulk of their time is also spent in researching on the latest threat vectors and reporting to the CIO/CISO on their potential impact to the organization if they are ever hit by one of these threats.

The cybersecurity analyst is also tasked with working closely with penetration and threat-hunting teams to discover any unknown weaknesses or vulnerabilities.

The Job Titles Leading to Becoming a Cybersecurity Analyst and Afterwards

A job title related to the cybersecurity analyst is the information security analyst. But there are also other job titles that are also associated with the cybersecurity analyst role and not used quite so frequently. These include the following:

  • Security analyst
  • IT security analyst
  • Senior security analyst

In order to become a cybersecurity analyst, the candidate must have an undergraduate degree in Information Technology or Computer Science. However, many employers are now requesting that candidates have an advanced degree.

On top of the educational requirements, employers are requesting that candidates have several years of experience in  any of the of the following entry-level positions:

  • Cybersecurity specialist/technician
  • Cybercrime investigator/analyst
  • Incident analyst/responder

Once you have the required levels of work experience in any of the above roles, you can then be considered for a role as a cybersecurity analyst. Once you have become one and have worked at it for a number of years, you can then be considered for a promotion into a much more senior role, such as the following:

  • Cybersecurity manager/administrator
  • Cybersecurity engineer
  • Cybersecurity architect

Other specific IT skills that employers are requesting from candidates applying for cybersecurity analyst positions include the following:

  • A deep background in network security
  • A working knowledge of the Linux operating system
  • The ability to conduct threat, vulnerability and intrusion detection assessments
  • The ability to apply the principles and tools of cryptography

The Salary Levels for a Cybersecurity Analyst

The average salary for a mid-level cybersecurity analyst is at about $85,000. If you are just starting out in the field, the salary tends to be on the lower end at $52,000, and with more years of experience, it can be as high as $117,000. The following matrix shows some of the top employers for cybersecurity analysts and the salaries that they pay:

Employer Salary Level
Booz Allen Hamilton $82,846.00
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) $86,691.00
United States Air Force (USAF) $62,645.00
Lockheed Martin Corporation $92,086.00
ManTech International Corporation $105,119.00

(Source)

The Certs That You Need

In the world of cybersecurity, getting relevant certs in your field is almost necessary if you want to further advance in your career and command a higher salary level. In this regard, the certs that a cybersecurity analyst should have include the following:

The NIST NICE Framework

The NICE Framework, which is an acronym for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (also known as the “NIST Special Publication 800-181”), is an initiative that has focused on describing the various roles, job titles and work responsibilities for the cybersecurity industry. This specialized framework is intended to be used in the private, public and academic sectors.

It comprises the following aspects:

  1. Seven categories: These describe the commonalities that are found among the different cybersecurity professions. The categories are Securely Provision, Operate and Maintain, Protect and Defend, Investigate, Collect and Operate, Analyze and Oversee and Govern
  2. Thirty-three specialty categories: These are the unique and distinct categories that describe the various work duties of a specific job title
  3. Fifty-two work roles: These describe the detailed skills, tasks and knowledge that are required for each cybersecurity job title

The Cybersecurity Analyst title fits into the following NICE framework categories:

  • Analysis
  • Collection and Operation
  • Provisioning Secure Practices
  • Operation and Maintenance
  • Protection and Defense
  • Investigation

Conclusions

Overall, the demand for cybersecurity analysts is expected to grow. According to the CyberSeek website, there are over 26,000 job openings at the present time. Becoming a successful cybersecurity analyst takes years of experience, a college degree, as well as the right certs, as reviewed in the last section; however, if you work hard and find the right opportunities, becoming a cybersecurity analyst can be a profitable and rewarding career.

 

Sources

  1. CyberSeek
  2. Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Cyber Security Analyst, Rasmussen College
  3. NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, NIST
  4. Information Security Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics