Want to Become a Cyber Analyst? Here are some things you need to know
Nowadays, businesses worldwide are in danger of getting their information stolen from hackers—the frequency of cyber-attacks is increasing at an alarming rate. The surge was partially due to so many people working from home in the past couple of years. While technology and remote working brought their benefits, there have been consequences too. For example, in 2021, companies lost over $4 million to data breaches. It has led to a rapid rise in demand for cyber analysts.
What is a Cyber Analyst?
Cyber Analysts are responsible for protecting a company’s network and computer systems from data breaches. They look for any suspicious activity, develop backup plans for attacks, report any attacks, and educate company employees’ on security measures in case of a breach. In addition, they stay well informed on the latest IT trends and hacker tools to keep on top of their game.
Academic Requirements for Cyber Analysts
The minimum academic requirement for cyber analysts is a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, cyberpsychology, or a similar field. Most employers prefer candidates who have a degree as well as advanced training. Therefore, it is recommended for graduates of these programs to get additional training through online courses, industry certifications, and cyber-security boot camps. There are options available for people who cannot attend college due to their busy schedules. Reputable universities have started to offer an online MS Cyberpsychology program for people to complete the degree at their own pace.
In addition, cyber analysts must have the following soft skills:
- Effective communication: In the event of an attack, cyber analysts will have to direct employees regarding security measures
- Active Listening: This is the ability to listen attentively. Cyber analysts will have to take orders from management and answer questions or concerns of employees. Thus, active listening plays a crucial part in these interactions.
- Customer-service oriented: Having a positive attitude and eagerness to help coworkers.
- Presentation: Cyber analysts will have to present security reports to the company’s management. They will have to explain complex topics in simple terms so everyone can understand.
- Management skills: They must have the ability to manage time and projects.
- Creative problem-solving: Cyber analysts deal with complex problems daily. They will need creative problem-solving skills to come up with solutions.
- Persuasion: Cyber analysts find problems and their solutions. They will then have to persuade company management regarding the best course of action.
- Independent: Cyber analysts work by themselves most of the time and have to be comfortable with that.
- Leadership: Cyber analysts perform a stressful role. In the event of an attack, they have to lead their company to safety by guiding everyone on the necessary steps to take.
- Critical thinking: Cyber analysts must think logically even in times of crisis when emotions are high.
- Research: Hackers design new digital weapons every day to use against businesses. Cyber analysts have to design countermeasures, which require research on the latest trends in the industry.
- Willingness to learn: Related to the last skill. Cyber analysts will have to read up on many industry trends, and they must be willing to do it.
Cyber Analyst Job Responsibilities
Cyber-attacks come without warning at any given time. Cyber analysts have to stay on their toes to counter them. Job descriptions may differ from company to company, but here are the most common responsibilities of cyber analysts:
- Managing software: Install, manage, and update the software on all company’s systems and networks. In addition, install security measures against attacks on all company’s systems and networks.
- Monitor Networks: Perform regular checks on all activities on a company’s networks and keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
- Educate Coworkers: Educate coworkers on security measures to take in the event of an attack.
- Report Findings: Tell company management about security issues and steps taken to resolve them.
- Research: Always stay ahead of the curve by researching the latest industry trends in IT and security. Find ways to design countermeasures against the latest digital weapons.
Data breaches are becoming more and more frequent, with more than 7 billion business records exposed in 2019. It has led to growth in the cyber security field. Experts predict that cyber analysts’ jobs will increase over 30 percent from 2019 to 2029.
Salary of Cyber Analysts
Due to the rapid increase in cyber-attacks, companies pay lucrative contracts to even entry-level candidates. Cyber analysts at entry-level with minimum experience can earn an average of over $50k per year. After a few years of gaining experience, they can make an average of over $75k per year. Top-level cyber analysts with 5+ years of experience can earn an average of $110k per year.
If becoming a cyber analyst doesn’t seem interesting, but you would still like to work in the cyber-security field, you can choose from the following positions:
- Computer Security Specialist
- Security Administrator
Computer Security Specialist
Computer security specialists are IT experts who protect corporate information systems from hackers. They develop, maintain, and update security systems. They also stop any privacy breaches. Lastly, they train the staff on security protocols in the event of an attack.
Computer Security Specialists must also have the following skills:
- The ability to detect a breach
- Conduct malware analysis
- Cloud Security
- Security Analysis
- Conducting risk analysis
- Minimizing risks
- Penetration testing
- loT security
- Network security
Salary of Computer Security Specialists
Entry-level computer security specialists earn an average of over $45k per year. Those with a few years of experience under their belt earn an average of over $65k per year. Top-level computer security specialists earn an average of over $105k per year.
Systems administrators are responsible for maintaining and developing computer systems and servers. They also resolve any problems with computer systems and servers to avoid work disruption within the organization.
Salary of a Systems Administrator
Systems administrators at entry-level earn an average of over $45k per year. After a few years in the industry, they can make an average of over $60k per year. Systems administrators with more than five years of experience can earn an average of over $85k per year.
Hackers are a constant threat to businesses. Data breaches have rapidly increased, and companies are looking to fight back. It has led to an increase in demand for cyber analysts. Fortunately, well-reputed universities offer excellent online programs for people interested in becoming cyber analysts. If you are interested in fighting technology with technology, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon along with other cyber enthusiasts.