What Makes a Good Security Analyst?

Written By: Nisita C.


What is a Security Analyst? 

Security analysts, also known as Security Operations Center analysts (SOC analysts), are professionals who help companies identify and patch vulnerabilities within security systems, solutions, and programs. They are responsible for protecting the company’s systems and networks from cyber threats, attacks, and unauthorized access. Security analysts monitor and analyze an organization’s IT (Information Technology) infrastructure by identifying vulnerabilities and implementing security measures to mitigate risks in the future. 


Why are Security Analysts Important? 

Security analysts are vital in the current cyber industry due to their role in enhancing the security of organizations against many cyber threats. As technology advances and cyber threats become increasingly sophisticated, the need for security analysts is critical. Security analysts possess the expertise to safeguard sensitive data, systems, and networks from malicious attackers. They help implement robust security measures within the organization. Currently, there are many cyber-attacks that pose significant risks to businesses, governments, and individuals. However, security analysts serve as defenders by ensuring the resilience of cyber security against cyber threats. 


What are the Responsibilities of a Security Analyst? 

Security analysts, in short, are responsible for protecting the company from threats. However, if a security breach were to occur, security analysts are those who help firsthand to counter the attack. Security analysts generate reports for IT administrators to evaluate how efficient and secure the security policies being employed are. Then, the analyst can make any changes to create a more secure network and system. This can include creating security awareness training courses to educate employees within the company on how to use security controls securely and efficiently. Security analysts also aid the company with incident response and disaster recovery plans.


More specific responsibilities are: 

– Monitoring security access. 

– Conducting security assessments through vulnerability testing and risk analysis. 

– Performing both internal and external security audits. 

– Analyzing security breaches to identify the root cause. 

– Continuously updating the company’s incident response and disaster recovery plans 

– Verifying third-party vendors’ security and collaborating with them to meet security requirements. 

– Assessing the level of risk associated with various security threats and recommending measures to minimize these risks. 


What Skillset Do Security Analysts Need? 

Security analysts require a specially curated skill set that will help them succeed in their role. Security analysts use ethical hacking to expose any vulnerabilities within the system and identify potential threats so that the organization can protect itself from malicious hackers and threats. This includes penetration testing, where an analyst will test networks, computers, web-based applications, and other systems to detect exploitable vulnerabilities. Security analysts also use intrusion prevention to monitor network traffic, detect potential threats, and respond to these threats quickly. Incident response controls and lessens the negative impact and consequences of an attack or breach on the organization. Security analysts will then alter security controls for future prevention. Computer forensics helps to prevent attacks through the collection, analysis, and reporting of data. It also allows an analyst to create evidence in the case of a security breach. Reverse engineering allows an analyst to comprehend why a piece of software does what it does so that they can patch a bug or analyze malware. 


In short, these are the primary skills used by a security analyst: 

– Ethical hacking 

– Intrusion prevention 

– Incident response 

– Computer forensics 

– Reverse engineering 

– Cybersecurity techniques 

– Operating systems 


How Can One Become a Security Analyst? 

First, having a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science or Cyber Security Engineering is encouraged. Candidates should have experience with any of the skills that a security analyst requires; a good role that would give a candidate a skill set like this would be system administrator. There are also a few certifications that enhance the candidate’s possibility of becoming a security analyst. These certifications include CompTIA Security+, CySA+, Network+, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), CWAPT Certified Penetration Tester, or Certified Reverse Engineering Analyst. All these certifications will provide the candidate with beneficial knowledge that will help in the security analyst role


6 security analyst certifications to advance your career | CSO Online. https://www.csoonline.com/article/3637893/6-security-analyst-certifications-to-advance-your-career.html

What is a Security Analyst? Responsibilities, Qualifications, and More | Digital Guardian. https://www.digitalguardian.com/fr/dskb/security-analyst

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