Information security analyst job description and demand

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High demand for Information security analysts

Information Security Analyst Jobs are on the Rise in the U.S. The coming years there will be a growing demand for these IT analysts. One of the problems in the U.S. economy is that, while jobs are growing, the people who are prepared for those high-skilled cyber security positions are lagging behind in numbers.

With industries and institutions globally moving more and more of their business functions online, there is a greater risk of cyber threats and hackers, see our latest article on ethical hacking. There is a greater need than ever to create cyber security measures than ever before, and that means there are more jobs open for people who know how to design and manage those measures.

The Information Security Analyst collaborates with various stakeholders

Information Security Analysts are one of the many jobs in cyber security that are aching for more eligible workers. The general responsibilities of such a position include protecting computer networks of a company, government or other institution by working behind the scenes to ensure no breaches occur. It seems that the Washington, D.C. area is the Pinnacle of job openings, Department of Homeland Security recently received clearance to recruit 1,000 new cybersecurity experts. Data from Monster.com in February show the following open positions for “information security analysts”:

  • 75 listings in Fairfax County, Virginia
  • 52 in Arlington County
  • 58 in Washington, D.C.

According to burning-glass.com “Some 84% of cybersecurity postings specify at least a bachelor’s degree, and 83% require at least three years of experience”

IT security engineers need to stay a step ahead of any attacker, predicting what move they make and designing a defense against cybersec breaches.

For a lower-level position, an information security analyst may operate pre-exiting software, monitoring and analyzing the data that goes through it. In higher level positions, this job may expand to include investigative work in order to determine how or if a data breach has occurred.

Often, working as a security analyst means focusing on three main areas: risk assessment (potential issues), vulnerability assessment (existing weaknesses), and defense planning (planning and installing defense mechanisms).

According to George V. Hulme an internationally recognized information security and business technology writer with businessinsights.bitdefender.com “The hardest-to-fill cybersecurity jobs call for financial skills, such as Accounting or knowledge of regulations associated with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, alongside traditional networking and IT security skills.” Read his full article here.

If you’re an analytical problem-solver, this is the kind of job for you. You’ll need to be able to understand complex computer systems and understand how security laws and regulations function in practice. Every day is a new jigsaw puzzle as new found vulnerabilities and risks point out new needs in defense and ever-changing factors change long-term strategies.

The Information Security Analyst is also responsible for project management, planning, executing, and managing a variety of technical and regulatory projects.

Because data security is quickly becoming one of the top concerns in the public and private sector, the job growth in this industry is huge. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting a 36.5% growth in the profession by 2022, making it the fasted growing position in the tech industry.

A total of about 27,400 are projected to be opening up for new candidates in the industry. 78,300 information security analysts are in the IT workforce by Q1, according to BLS data.
Most recent figures from Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that information security analysts saw an 8% growth over the first 3 months of 2016. That’s absolutely a new record.

Information security analyst are ranked:

  • #5 in Best Technology Jobs

  • #9 in Best STEM Jobs

  • #34 in the Best 100 Jobs

Salary:

With it being such a high demand position, the typical salaries, even in a lower level position, are nothing to scoff at. The median salary is about $88,590 while the lowest paid take home about $50,000. The highest paid ten percent, however, make around $138,000.
Rutrell Yasin wrote a captivating article about ways to raise your salary in cybersecurity. read his full article here.

Job Training:

You’ll have to pursue at least a bachelors degree if you hope to land a job in the information security analyst field. If you’re looking for a higher paid position right off the bat, you may want to consider going on for your Masters in Business Administration after earning a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming or engineering. Read our article about bachelors/masters degree. In addition, many companies offer certifications which can be used to better seal in a position (e.g. InfoSec Institute). Why is a cybersecurity degree a smart choice?

An Information Security Analyst usually performs privacy and Information Security operational functions.

Depending on the position, you may need to be particularly skilled in a certain aspect of information security. For example, if you are applying for a position which focuses on risk assessment, you’ll need to be very well versed in computer science.

Typically, most people are not hired into this kind of position as an entry level position out of college. Most viable applicants have worked in another IT role as a computer technician or other similar position. Seeing as there is a lot of demand, however, the competition isn’t as fierce as it could be.

According to figures from Monster.com, new job adverts for “information security analysts” have been climbing since December, in mid February hitting a peak of 513 listings. Major companies with big number of open positions are Northrop Grumman; AT&T; Unitedhealth Group.

Average salary of an information security analyst: See detailed information here

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