What Does an Information Security Analyst Do?


Updated October 11, 2023

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This article introduces information security analyst careers, including common duties, degree options, and career advancement opportunities.

Essential Career Information
Median Annual Salary $98,350
Employment Growth Forecast from 2018-2028 32%
Number of New Jobs from 2018-2028 112,300
Average Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree
Annual Salary of the Highest 10% $156,580
Annual Salary of the Lowest 10% $56,750

Source: BLS

What Is an Information Security Analyst?

An information security analyst is an IT professional who plans and implements security measures to protect an organization's computer systems and networks. As cyberattacks increase, the demand for information security analysts grows. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects information security analyst jobs to grow 32% through 2028.

This article introduces information security analyst careers, including common duties, degree options, and career advancement opportunities.

Alternate job titles for information security analysts:

  • Computer security specialist
  • Computer systems security analyst
  • Information security analyst
  • Information systems security analyst
  • Internet security specialist
  • Network security analyst
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Information Assurance Analyst
  • Cyber Security Consultant
  • Information Security Consultant
  • Information Assurance Consultant

What Does an Information Security Analyst Do?

Information security analysts help organizations protect their data and information by implementing cybersecurity measures. They monitor an organization's networks to identify potential security breaches and investigate cyberattacks to determine weaknesses in the system. They also determine the extent of damage caused by security breaches and create reports to document breaches.

Information security analysts need strong analytical and problem-solving skills.

Businesses in all industries rely on information security analysts to install protective software, like firewalls and encryption programs. Cybersecurity professionals must also perform penetration testing, simulating cyber attacks to identify vulnerabilities. Additionally, they research IT security trends to propose security upgrades to an organization's managers.

Information security analysts need strong analytical and problem-solving skills. They must study computer systems to identify potential risks and respond to security alerts. The position also requires a detail-oriented outlook and creativity in responding to cyber attacks.

Become an Information Security Analyst

Entry-level information security analysts typically need a bachelor's degree. Some colleges and universities offer majors in information security or cybersecurity. Prospective information security analysts can also earn a degree in computer science, information science, or programming. Gaining experience in a related area, like network systems administration or database administration, can also help IT professionals advance as information security analysts.

Some employers prefer information security analysts to hold a master's degree, particularly for leadership roles. A master's in information systems or cybersecurity offers advanced training in securing networks and computer systems. Students can also pursue an MBA with a concentration in information systems management or cybersecurity.

Information security analysts can earn voluntary certifications to showcase their skills. Many employers prefer to hire candidates with certification. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional credential, for example, recognizes IT professionals who can design, implement, and manage a cybersecurity program. Similarly, the Certified Information Security Manager credential demonstrates management-level expertise in information security.

Information security analysts can also demonstrate specialized expertise through certifications like Certified Information Systems Auditor. To earn certification, candidates must meet the education and experience requirements before passing an exam. Candidates must renew their credentials regularly.

Information Security Analyst Salary by Experience
Experience Annual Median Wage
Entry-level (0-12 months) $59,000
Early Career (1-4 years) $66,000
Mid-career (5-9 years) $81,000
Experienced (10-19 years) $93,000

Source: PayScale

Bachelor's Degree Programs

A bachelor's degree prepares graduates for entry-level information security analyst jobs. Prospective information security analysts can pursue majors such as computer science, software engineering, information assurance, or cybersecurity. During a cybersecurity bachelor's degree, for example, students complete coursework on topics like information systems security, auditing security systems, network security, and incident handling. Students also complete classes on network administration, internet security, and systems forensics.

Students learn how to apply technical strategies to secure data, solve cybersecurity problems, and adhere to ethical security management practices. In addition to focused cybersecurity classes, a bachelor's in cybersecurity incorporates broader IT and business training. Learners also complete general education requirements that strengthen their analytical and critical-thinking skills. Some programs incorporate an internship that gives students hands-on experience in the field.

Completing a bachelor's degree generally takes four years for full-time students. Transfer students with prior college credit can earn a degree in less time. Graduates can pursue entry-level information security analyst jobs or apply to a master's program.

Master's Degree Programs

Some employers prefer candidates with a master's degree in cybersecurity, particularly for managerial roles. Information security analysts considering a master's degree can pursue a master's in cybersecurity or an MBA with a concentration in cybersecurity. Master's in cybersecurity programs incorporate advanced classes on topics like cybersecurity theory, cloud security, and information security risk management.

During an MBA with a cybersecurity concentration, students complete business and IT classes, blending coursework in management and leadership with technical training in systems security management. Coursework in project management and business data communications can prepare information security analysts for leadership roles like chief security officer or computer and information systems manager.

Graduate students often complete an internship to gain hands-on experience in the field. Many programs also incorporate a capstone or master's project. Students typically graduate within two years of full-time study, though some programs offer accelerated completion times. Professionals with a master's degree qualify for advanced and managerial information security roles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an information security analyst do?

An information security analyst, or cybersecurity analyst, implements security procedures to protect an organization's computer systems and networks from cyberattacks.

What degree do you need to be an information security analyst?

Most information security jobs require a bachelor's degree in a field like information technology, computer science, or cybersecurity.

Is information security analyst a good career?

Yes; information security analysts benefit from above-average earning potential and strong projected job growth.

How much do information security analysts make?

The average information security analyst salary exceeds $98,000 a year.

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