What is an Information Security Analyst?
Table of Contents
An information security analyst is someone who takes measures to protect a company's sensitive and mission-critical data, staying one step ahead of cyber attackers. They do this by coming up with innovative solutions to prevent critical information from being stolen, damaged or compromised by hackers.
Note the differences between a Security Analyst and a Security Administrator:
Security Analysts - are responsible for analyzing data and recommending changes to higher ups, but do not authorize and implement changes. Their main job is keeping attackers out.
Security Administrators - ensure that systems are working as designed by making changes, applying patches and setting up new admin users. Their main job is keeping systems up.
What does an Information Security Analyst do?
The information security analyst is responsible for protecting all sensitive information within a company. With the rise in hackers and data breaches sweeping throughout companies and the government, there’s a greater need to keep personal and top-secret information safe from cyberattacks. Information security analysts help develop, implement, and ensure compliance of policies to protect an organization’s data from being inappropriately accessed or used, by erecting firewalls and encrypting data transmissions to secure confidential information as it is being received or transmitted. These attacks may come from inside or outside the company.
Information security analysts focus on three main areas:
- Risk assessment - identifying problems an organization might face
- Vulnerability assessment - determining an organization’s weaknesses
- Defense planning - installing protections, such as firewalls and data encryption programs
Information security analysts promote security awareness in the company. This works with improving the security of its computer data and improving network and server efficiency. They document tests, security and emergency policies, and procedures. Information security legal requirements may change, therefore the analyst must stay abreast of regulatory requirements.
An information security analyst remains current on reports of computer viruses, decides if updated protection is needed, and shares this information with the company or customer. The security analyst also organizes and conducts training for all employees regarding company security and information safeguarding. They also maintain or modify computer security files to add or incorporate new software, change a person's access status, and correct errors.
Information security analysts create plans to prevent any malicious or inadvertent use of data, create plans for emergency use, train users on security measures, and monitor access to data. Along with these duties, they may also be tasked with going over information on viruses and ensuring virus protection is in place. They may be asked to take a look at risks of data exposure as well as make sure that security systems are in place and working as designed. They may also serve as experts on application development project teams to ensure the application complies with the organization’s information security standards.
The information security analyst may be included in planning for other threats to the organization's data, such as threats caused by severe weather, maintaining power to servers in case of a local outage, and planning for continuing operations at alternate sites in case the main operations site needs to be shut down.
Find your perfect career
Would you make a good information security analyst? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!
What is the workplace of an Information Security Analyst like?
An information security analyst can work for consulting firms, as well as computer, financial, and business organizations to protect computer files from unauthorized people and possible theft or destruction. Someone in an entry-level position may operate software to monitor and analyze information, while a more senior-level position could require investigative work to determine whether a security breach has occurred.
Introduction to Computer Security - Information Security Lesson #1 of 12 Dr. Daniel Soper
Firewalls and Network Security - Information Security
The Role of an Information Systems Security Officer
Introduction to Information Security
2017 Best Cities for Cybersecurity Professionals
It’s a good time to be working in cybersecurity. As hackers continue their onslaught, stealing information in sectors ranging from health care to retail sales, businesses will need experts in digital security to fight back.
Solving the Cyber Security Hiring Crisis DHS and the Great Talent Search
At no time in history has the United States had a greater need for cybersecurity experts to protect government networks, critical infrastructures and private sector enterprises from the global onslaught of organized cybercrime, nation states and terrorists.
How to Become a Security Analyst
A degree in something like computer science and certifications such as CISSP and CompTIA Network+ wouldn’t be out of place on the resumes of security analysts.
An Overview of Being a Security Analyst as a Career
Essentially, a security analyst is an IT professional responsible for maintaining the security and integrity of data and networks.
Computer Systems Administrator
Computer & Information Research Scientist
Computer Systems Analyst
Operations Research Analyst
Computer Systems Engineer
Search Engine Optimization Specialist
Collections With This Career
- Most In-Demand Careers
- Careers for Management Information Systems majors
- Over the coming decades, some careers are expected to be more in demand than others. Occupations that are expected to have above-average opportunities are highlighted in this collection.
- The most common careers people pursue after attaining a Management Information Systems degree. Read More