This post originally appeared on Fullstack Academy's blog.
From the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (the Information Systems Security Association, found a 63% increase in cyberattacks related to the pandemic) to the election and the upcoming holiday season, now is a great time to learn the skills you need to launch a career in cybersecurity.
According to CompTIA, one of the top cybersecurity roles is a Cybersecurity Analyst. In charge of planning and carrying out security measures for an organization, Cybersecurity Analysts are integral to preventing data breaches and keeping employee and client data safe.
A career in cybersecurity can be a great fit if you’re curious, a problem-solver, and want to advocate for the public good. If you’re new to the industry or are thinking about a possible career change, keep reading and watch the video below to learn more.
To help you learn more about careers in cybersecurity, this article will cover the following topics:
- What Cybersecurity Analysts Do
- What Soft Skills You Need to Succeed as a Cybersecurity Analyst
- Who Cybersecurity Analysts Work With
- Cybersecurity Analyst Jobs and Salaries
- How to Become a Cybersecurity Analyst
What Do Cybersecurity Analysts Do?
Cybersecurity Analysts are integral to any Security team. If you’re wondering what the day-to-day looks like for a Cybersecurity Analyst, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) outlines some of the core responsibilities, which we’ve broken down below.
- Conduct Security Audits
- Monitor Security Access
- Keep Track of Security Breaches
- Install Software and Activate Encryption
- Maintain Security Software
- Research IT and Security Trends
- Develop Best Practices
Conduct Security Audits
One of the most important responsibilities of a Cybersecurity Analyst is to conduct frequent security audits. This means identifying potential threats to your organization, strategizing how to mitigate risk, and keeping track of your company’s assets.
Monitor Security Access
From onboarding to promotions and company exits, it’s important for Cybersecurity Analysts to monitor security access for everyone on their team and in their organization.
This can include firewalls, two-factor authentication, and physical access to office space—not to mention handling access for remote and onsite employees.
Keep Track of Security Breaches
In addition to monitoring potential risks, Cyber Analysts are responsible for responding to security breaches. This means it’s their job to determine the cause of the breach, communicate the next steps to the organization, and educate employees on how to avoid attacks like it in the future.
Install Software and Activate Encryption
Cybersecurity Analysts are responsible for installing and encrypting security software for their team and organization. This can include installing firewalls and breach-detection software.
Maintain Security Software
The tools and tactics cyber experts use are constantly evolving with the industry. As a Cyber Analyst, after you decide what security software to use, it’s important to keep it updated. According to Norton Security, keeping operating systems updated and patched with the latest security measures will help keep them safe from the latest threats.
Research IT and Security Trends
Keeping up-to-date on the latest IT and security trends is a top priority for Cybersecurity Analysts. This ensures that their security strategies are in line with what experts recommend and relate to what’s going in the industry.
Check out these resources to boost your industry knowledge:
Develop Best Practices
Cybersecurity Analysts are also responsible for setting the security standards and best practices for their teams and organizations.
This can include documentation, how to communicate safely with others without compromising sensitive information, how to handle support requests, and more.
Since cybersecurity is an ever-growing field, these responsibilities can only be expected to evolve.
What Soft Skills You Need to Succeed as a Cybersecurity Analyst
Aside from the technical skills you need to succeed as a Cybersecurity Analyst, there are also a series of soft skills that can help you launch your career more quickly.
Walk yourself through this series of questions to get a sense of whether or not a career in cybersecurity is a good fit for you:
- Curiosity: Do you like to take things apart to see how they work? Do you research topics that interest you?
- Passion for the industry: Are you building a home lab? Do you participate in Capture the Flag events? Are you studying for any specific certifications?
- Do you advocate for public safety and the common good?
- Tenacity: Are you resilient when solving a problem?
- Are you always hungry to learn something new?
- Are you collaborative and eager to communicate with your team?
- Analytical: Are you able to notice small anomalies in large data sets/logs?
- Do you have strong writing skills to document incidents and communicate with other departments?
- Are you detail-oriented?
These are just some of the skills that will set you apart in a job search, but they’re worth thinking about if you’re serious about joining the industry.
You can also use what you’ve learned in past roles—you don’t need a background in IT to succeed as a Cybersecurity Analyst. Many Fullstack Cyber Bootcamp students have backgrounds in teaching, communications, human resources, marketing, the military, and more.
Who Cybersecurity Analysts Work With
Cybersecurity Analysts are collaborative and work with everyone in a company, including IT professionals, C-Suite executives, and other employees.
A Cybersecurity Analyst might report to a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or a Security Director, depending on the structure of their organization. They might also work alongside Penetration Testers, Security Engineers, and Security Specialists (explore additional cybersecurity job types).
As a role, Cybersecurity Analysts have ample opportunities for career advancement and growth throughout their careers.
Cybersecurity Analyst Jobs and Salaries
Thanks to strong industry demand, skilled Cybersecurity Analysts are compensated well for the value they provide.
The salary you can expect to make as a Cybersecurity Analyst will vary based on your location, experience, and the type of company you’re working for, but the BLS lists the median annual salary for cybersecurity analysts at $99,730. More senior-level roles can expect salaries up to $116k, according to Glassdoor.
A career in cybersecurity is not only a fulfilling way to make an impact, but it also is a career that will provide stability in an ever-changing world.
How to Become a Cybersecurity Analyst
If you want to quickly break into the cybersecurity field, attending a Cybersecurity Bootcamp like Fullstack’s could be a great fit. Cyber Bootcamps offer students the opportunity to learn in-demand skills in as little as 17 weeks.
Fullstack’s program offers full-time and part-time courses (depending on what works best for you)—plus dedicated career support—so this accelerated option is a cost-effective way to jump-start your career as a Cybersecurity Analyst.
To get started, sign up for Fullstack’s intro course, Hacking 101. It’s a self-paced, video-based introduction to the industry that will help you learn what it’s really like to work in cybersecurity and whether it's a good path for you.
The Breaking Into Cybersecurity handbook is also a way to learn more about how to launch a cyber career, what skills you need to get hired, and more.
Beyond attending a Cybersecurity Bootcamp, another educational component of a career in cybersecurity is industry certifications.
Popular certifications include Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) from Offensive Security, Security+ from CompTIA, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) from ISC2, and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) from EC-Council.
Every Industry Needs Cyber Experts
With the proper qualifications, a Cybersecurity Analyst can work in almost any industry with any type of organization.
While IT firms lead the pack in hiring Cybersecurity Analysts, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, healthcare facilities, transit and logistics companies, and every other business needs security professionals.
No matter what industry you want to work in (and even where you want to live!), there are guaranteed to be ample job opportunities for Cybersecurity Analysts.