How To Become A Cyber Security Analyst: A Complete Guide

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 5 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Protecting data, systems and networks from cyber threats is crucial for any organisation. For this, companies hire cyber security analysts who identify potential vulnerabilities and help prevent cyber attacks. If you are planning to pursue a career as a cyber security analyst, it is important to understand the requirements to become one. In this article, we explain how to become a cyber security analyst, the required skills, the average salary you can earn and review frequently asked questions.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

How to become a cyber security analyst

Most employers demand a minimum of a diploma or bachelor's degree for the post of a cyber security analyst. For an entry-level position, you may not require any prior experience, although getting an internship or information technology-related job experience can improve your chances of getting hired. Additionally, you can get certification to improve your career prospect. The following are 4 steps you can follow to learn how to become a cyber security analyst:

1. Get a diploma or bachelor's degree

If you are wondering how to become a cyber security analyst, getting a diploma or bachelor's degree in information technology, computer science, digital forensics or related courses is usually helpful. These courses provide the fundamental knowledge and skills related to networking, data, programming, operating systems and cyber security. Some of the popular courses to become a cyber security analyst include the following:

  • Btech in Computer Science and Engineering (Cyber Security/Networking)

  • BE in Cyber Security

  • Diploma in Cyber Security

  • BSc in Cyber Security

  • Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA)

2. Get internships or relevant experience

As an aspiring cyber security analyst, getting experience in the field can enhance your resume and improve your chances of getting the job. College internships are an excellent way to gain relevant work experience before you graduate. You may also apply for information technology (IT) jobs, such as programmer, to gain practical experience in the IT field.

Related: How To Apply For An Internship (And What To Do After Applying)

3. Get certifications

Certifications are a great way to improve your career prospect. They can help you get specialisation in domains within the field and stay updated with the new processes and best practices. In fact, many companies seek candidates who have validated their knowledge with certifications. Further, certifications can also be useful if you do not have an educational background in cyber security. Some of the popular certifications that you can consider are as follows:

  • CompTIA Security+ Certification: This is an entry-level certification ideal for candidates looking to get started in the field. This certification covers the topics related to various cyber threats and attacks, network architecture and design, implementation and major security compliances.

  • Global Information Assurance Certification's Security Essentials (GSEC): This is another entry-level certification, but specifically for candidates with a background in networking and information systems. The certification focuses on helping candidates develop skills related to network security, cloud security, cryptography and active defence.

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Certification: This is an industry-standard certification focused on training you in advanced cyber security skills. The certification program validates the knowledge of experienced candidates.

  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) Certification: This is another popular certification for candidates looking to build a career in cyber security auditing. It is one of the widely recognised certifications that proves you as an experienced professional in auditing security vulnerability and implementing controls.

Related: List Of 11 Cyber Security Certifications For Beginners

4. Create a professional resume

An excellent cyber security resume can help you set yourself apart from other candidates during the interview. Besides your educational qualifications and certifications, a good resume also communicates your skills, professional experience and accomplishments that you might have gained during internships or other work experience.

If you are an entry-level candidate with no prior experience, consider highlighting your GPA and college projects. While if you are an experienced candidate, it is important to highlight your relevant work experience. Regardless, it is instrumental to always customise the resume according to the job description, emphasising the skills that the employer prefers.

Related: Cyber Security Interview Questions And Answers

What is the average salary of a cyber security analyst?

The average salary of a cyber security analyst is ₹12,46,373 per year. Although, this may vary based on location, industry, employer, educational qualification, skills and experience of the candidate. For example, the average salary of a cyber security analyst in Mumbai is ₹14,23,112 per year, while the average salary of a cyber security analyst in Bangalore is ₹12,23,844 per year.

Related: How Much Does Cyber Security Make? (With Skills And Types)

What are the crucial skills required as a cyber security analyst?

As a cyber security analyst, you require a variety of technical skills related to programming, security, networking and system architecture. Here are the details of the necessary cyber security analyst skills:

  • Programming: Knowledge of programming languages such as python, C, C++, C#, Java and PHP to understand codes and write custom scripts are key to performing effectively in the role.

  • Data security: These professionals are responsible for ensuring the data is protected from any unauthorised or malicious access and protecting it against corruption.

  • Network security: Cyber security analysts configure the networks, hardware and software for security and privacy.

  • Data analysis: These professionals may analyse the data to predict and identify threats and help businesses create robust security plans based on it.

  • Identity management: Cyber security analysts may use identity management (IdM) policies to distribute authorised access to technology resources in an organisation.

  • Application security: Identifying security vulnerabilities of web and mobile applications and optimising them

  • Endpoint security: They may protect the endpoint devices of the clients and end-users.

  • Knowledge of various regulatory compliances: A good understanding of security regulatory compliances to help the organisation implement them is helpful. Some examples of necessary regulatory compliances are HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), PCI-DSS (The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

  • Cryptography: Implementing effective data encryption for various communication modes is essential for this role.

Besides the technical skills, a cyber security analyst also requires soft skills to perform the job role successfully. Some of the most important non-technical skills and attributes include the following:

  • Problem-solving skills: The ability to handle sudden challenges and find immediate solutions is essential for cyber security analysts.

  • Strong communication skills: The ability to communicate with others, explain security concerns or compliances to both technical and non-technical members of the organisation.

  • Curiosity and eagerness to learn: To keep up with the rapidly evolving tools, processes and threats, you require curiosity and eagerness to learn.

Related: Cyber Security Skills (With Examples And Tips to Improve)

Frequently asked questions about cyber security analyst

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

What do cyber security analysts do?

Cyber security analysts implement security audits to safeguard the company's network and systems from malicious cyber attacks. Here are some of their day-to-day job duties and responsibilities:

  • monitor suspicious activities, unauthorised accesses and threats

  • report any security breach events

  • create contingency plans for security breaches and disaster recovery

  • identify security weaknesses and potential threats

  • implement threat protection policies and security controls

  • educate the organisation members about security measures

  • integrate security apps and firewalls in the company's system

  • generate reports and help understand it to both technical and non-technical stakeholders

What is the work environment of a cyber security analyst like?

Most of the time, cyber security analysts work on a computer in an office setting. Based on the company's policies and the type of data security you handle, you may even get an option to work remotely. The job requires continuous availability to look after the security threats, so you may even work in rotational shifts, including night and weekend shifts.

Who are their typical employers?

As a cyber security analyst, you may work in either the public or private sector. Further, you can work as a part of the in-house team or an outsourced team of a security consultancy company. Some examples of organisations employing cyber security analysts are as follows:

  • security consultancies

  • technology companies

  • media outlets

  • various government departments, including defence and intelligence

  • network providers

  • banks and financial institutions

  • airline companies

  • schools, colleges and other education institutions

  • e-commerce companies

What is an example of a cyber security analyst job description?

The following is an example of a cyber security analyst job description:

Nicola Tech is looking for a cyber security analyst to join the team. Here are the details about the position:

Responsibilities and duties

  • Monitor networks and systems for security issues

  • Conduct manual and automated penetration testing for web applications, mobile applications and network applications

  • Implement data encryption program and instal security software across the company's systems

  • Identify and investigate security breaches and other unauthorised cyber activities

  • Fix vulnerabilities and maintain a high-security standard

  • Research for security improvements and make recommendations to stakeholders

  • Stay updated with the latest security trends

  • Help the company implement the security regulatory compliances

Qualifications and skills

  • Minimum bachelor's in computer science or related field

  • Certified ethical hacker or similar certification

  • Experience of industry-standard security testing tools such as Kali, Burp Suite and Metasploit

  • Knowledge of programming and scripting language

  • Excellent written and verbal communication

  • Eagerness to learn and explore IT security systems

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