How to pursue a career as a cyber security analyst
A wide range of job opportunities are available for professionals looking to pursue a career in cyber security and one of the most sought-after positions is that of the cyber security analyst.
As cyber criminals continue to become more advanced in their attempts to hack systems and steal data, the volume of attacks is growing. This means the need for highly skilled cyber security analysts is also on the rise.
When it comes to landing a job in the field, there are certain skills that recruiters and employers look upon favourably. Here is everything you need to know about the role of a cyber security analyst.
What is a cyber security analyst?
A cyber security analyst is typically an entry-level role that defends an organisation’s networks and systems from digital threats, preventing unauthorised third parties from accessing sensitive data.
These professionals are a key part of their organisations’ IT teams and often undertake a wide array of tasks, from monitoring traffic and managing antivirus software to investigating unusual activities and penetration testing.
What does a cyber security analyst do?
Cyber security analysts perform a generalist role and, as such, undertake several different tasks. These experts must be up to date with the latest developments in IT, which means they will constantly be researching to stay ahead of potential threats.
Other responsibilities could include developing contingency plans, reporting attacks, providing cyber security training to colleagues and monitoring their organisation’s network to identify and eliminate suspicious activity.
The tasks carried out by a cyber security analyst will vary between different firms, but the general responsibility they all share is preparing and responding to attacks. This means professionals working in the field must be able to think and act with urgency.
Are cyber security analysts in demand?
As the frequency and severity of attacks continue to increase, the need for cyber security roles has followed. Experts in this area must to be highly skilled and up to date with the latest technologies to remain one step ahead of criminals.
So, cyber security analysts are certainly in demand. In fact, TechTarget ranked the job as the second most sought-after position in the industry for 2023, highlighting just how important these professionals are and why organisations are often looking for new analysts.
Do cyber security analyst jobs pay well?
According to data from Glassdoor, the average salary for a cyber security analyst in the UK is £43,853. However, the pay you can expect depends heavily on your experience, with compensation for entry-level roles starting around £30,000 and rising up to £80,000 for the most seasoned experts.
How to become a cyber security analyst
The role of a cyber security analyst requires professionals to possess a deep understanding of information systems and networks, which means education and hands-on experience are both important.
However, in a wider sense, cyber security is a relatively new industry. As such, there are a range of different paths you could take to become an analyst.
What skills does a cyber security analyst need?
Because a cyber security analyst performs a generalist role within an organisation, the skills required of them can be extensive. Some of the proficiencies employers often look for include:
- A genuine passion for cyber security
- Fantastic baseline skills, such as a comprehensive understanding of networks, systems and software
- Problem-solving and analytical skills
- Knowledge of controls and frameworks best practices
- Threat detection and incident response
- Network architecture
The best degrees for cyber security analysts
For many cyber security analysts, the undergraduate degree of choice is either Computer Science or Engineering and Technology. These two both rank within the top ten most popular courses in the UK in 2023.
Alternatively, some universities offer a dedicated Cyber Security course, whilst other common bachelor’s degrees include Computer Programming, Database Management and Computer Hardware Engineering.
How to find cyber security analyst jobs in the UK
Looking for the perfect cyber security analyst job? The best place to start is with a dedicated cyber security jobs board, like CyberSecurityJobsite.com. You can even register your CV to let hiring managers and recruiters reach out to you directly.
Additionally, take a look at CyberSecurityExpo.co.uk to find a cyber security jobs fair near you. These events occur throughout the year, across the UK. They offer a great opportunity to network with some of the biggest employers in the industry and could be the perfect way to learn more about roles you’re interested in.