The demand for information security analysts is increasing daily due to the advancement in technology and many activities being performed over the internet. Many businesses, companies and organisations conduct financial transactions over the internet, share files and documents, and upload forms to collect people's personal data and other sensitive activities. All these sensitive information needs to be protected and secure. This is where an information security analyst comes in. Information security analysts are needed more now than ever since cyber criminals and hackers are always on the move to steal sensitive information, breach online security systems, and put people’s internet presence at risk. And since these attackers are not stopping anytime soon, information security analysts will always be needed. So how can you become a remote information security analyst? This article will guide you on what you need to know to become a remote information security analyst.
Who Is a Remote Information Security Analyst?
A remote information security analyst is responsible for the protection of a business's computer networks, systems, and databases. They usually monitor networks and servers for security breaches and cyberattacks and protect them with data encryption programs, firewalls, and other security measures.
Overall, an information security analyst's job is to protect the information and data of businesses or organizations, employees, and clients. Furthermore, they are the first emergency response if a security breach occurs in a company or organization. They investigate the source, limiting the damage and quickly securing the data. They can also protect companies from internal threats by controlling access to files and credentialing.
Why Are Cyber Security Analysts Important?
A lot of personal and professional activities are handled digitally. Bank transactions, family medical history or an organization's financial records information exist in the form of data that are electronically stored somewhere outside of most people’s consideration. Therefore it is critical that organizations have strong cyber security analysts to protect this information and data from cyber threats. This way, they can prevent the theft of an institution's personal or financial information. Protect it from attackers who want to access the company's confidential data and records and ensure operating systems run smoothly. Without an information security analyst, organizations, companies and businesses are at significant risk of losing information, money, access to necessary files and privacy. A cyber attack could essentially dismantle an entire organization's operation if not resolved immediately.
How to Become a Remote Information Security Analyst
There are a lot of ways you can become a remote information security analyst. They include
1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree.
One of the most easiest and direct ways to become a remote information security analyst is to earn a four-year bachelor's degree in a computer science-related field. Furthermore, you can purchase a master's degree in some related field to increase your chances of getting a higher-paying job in the field. Most people focus on areas of information security, cybersecurity, information technology, and computer science.
2. Get Professional Experience
Apart from education, most information security analyst jobs require you to have some relevant experience in an IT or tech-related job. Some university undergraduate and postgraduate programs offer some kind of internship for students to gain industry and professional experience while at school. Many also apply for entry-level IT jobs that require no working experience. That way they can gather real-time industry-based experience for one or two years before going back to school to pursue a master's program to have better chances of getting a senior role.
3. Getting Professional Certifications
Professional certifications can open many doors of opportunities for professionals. Employers often prefer job applicants who hold security certifications, which demonstrate proficiency in technical skills and knowledge. These demonstrate your knowledge in the field and give you the credentials that confirm your competency. Many employers prefer to hire analysts with information security certification. Some popular certifications include:
- CompTIA security+
- CompTIA advanced security practitioner
- Certified ethical hacker
- GSEC / GCIH / GCIA: GIAC Security Certifications
- ECSA: EC-Council Certified Security Analyst
- CISM: Certified Information Security Manager
- CISSP: Certified Information Security Systems Professional
- CCSP: Certified Cloud Security Professional
- CompTIA Security+ or PenTest+
- CySA+: CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst
- CASP+: CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
- CISA: Certified Information Security Auditor
- GSEC: SANS GIAC Security Essentials
- OSCP: Offensive Security Certified Professional
4. Create a Strong Resume
A professional resume or Curriculum vitae can increase your chances of getting a job as a remote information security analyst. This distinguishes you from similarly qualified candidates and increases your chances of being called for an interview. In addition to your education, training and certifications, a strong resume help you showcase the skills you develop during your internship or prior work experiences.
5. Create a LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is like an online resume that is created to connect with industry-based experts employers and organisations. Creating a LinkedIn presence will help you connect with various employers, join various communities on cyber security and meet industry experts. An important part of becoming a security analyst is developing a professional network. A network that is aligned with a specific career track will help stay informed about the latest trends and opportunities within the space.
Information Security Analyst Salary
Entry-Level Information Security Analysts
According to PayScale, an entry-level Information Security Analyst without no experience or with less than 1-year experience can earn approximately an average of $61,423. This includes compensation.
Startup Information Security Analysts
As you grow in your career as an information security analyst, so do your earnings and opportunity. As an Information Security Analyst with 1-4 years of experience you can expect to earn an average earns an average of $69,803.
Mid-Career Information Analyst
A mid-career Information Security Analyst with 5-9 years of experience earns an average of $84,265 based on 794 salaries.
As an experienced analyst with 10-19 years of experience, you might earn an average of $97,458 based on 381 salaries. While in their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $106,803.
Security Analyst Skills
As an information security analyst, you must have an in-depth knowledge of computer networks and digital systems. These skills are important and need to be mastered if you want to succeed as an information security analyst
Security analysts work with a lot of data from a variety of sources and so they need to be able to take information from many inputs to make decisions. This way, you will be able to access the effectiveness of security measures and spot flaws that could lead to breaches.
One important skill to have as an information security analyst is the ability to pay attention to detail like lines of computer code or network commands. Detail-oriented individuals who can spot slight changes in a system’s performance that may indicate a security breach, unauthorized software or malware.
An information security analyst must have a basic knowledge of programming. These are people that deal with computer networks and systems, so it will make sense for aspiring information security analysts to have knowledge of computer languages. This foundational with foundational programming languages include C, C++, PHP, Perl, Python and Java.
As an information security analyst, it’s important to anticipate information security risks and implement new protection strategies before attacks occur. This way, they can prevent a cyber attack before it occurs.
Information security analysts must also have excellent troubleshooting and problem-solving skills, as they may need to fix any issues they uncover.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Requirements to Become an Information Security Analyst?
Usually, you need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology or science information assurance, programming or other related fields. You can also pursue a master’s degree in cyber security, and other advanced studies to give you a better edge when applying for jobs.
Furthermore, you can take online courses and certification in the field of cyber security or attend boot camps.
How Much Does an Information Security Analyst Make?
The median annual wage for information security analysts in 2020 was $103,590, according to the BLS. Half of the analysts polled earned more than that, while half earned less. The lowest 10% of information security analysts earned less than $60,060, whereas the highest 10% earned more than $163,300.
What Is the Difference Between an Information Security Analyst and A Cybersecurity Analyst?
There are a lot of similarities between information security analysts and cybersecurity analysts. However, where cybersecurity analysts work to protect organizations and their data from hackers and cybercrimes, the role of an information security analyst is much broader than that of a cyber security analyst. Which allows them to fill a much broader role.
Is Information Security Analyst a Good Career?
Research shows that an information security analyst ranks average for stress levels and below average on work-life balance. However, the hard work and stress that comes with the job are well-compensated with a median annual income of $103,590. Information security analyst also ranks No. 25 in the Best Jobs That Pay More Than $100K.
Does Information Security Analyst Require Coding?
For most information security analysts and cyber security jobs, coding skills are not really required. However, as you advance in your career, you may seek additional qualifications or take online certification in programming and other related fields. This will help you to be more proficient to handle advanced roles.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Security Analyst?
The typical qualification to start as an entry-level information security analyst is a BSc in computer science and other related fields. A master's degree and certification are needed for other advanced roles in this career path. Most companies seeking entry-level security analysts require one to five years of on-the-job experience in a related role, such as a systems administrator.
Is It Hard to Be an Information Security Analyst?
Yes, being an information security analyst is a hard job. A security analyst is a hard job because they are responsible for keeping an organization's sensitive and proprietary information secure. This role can be stressful and requires a significant amount of knowledge and proactive thinking.
Being a remote security analyst is a very lucrative and demanding job. There is a lot of opportunity in this field, especially for entry-level. Most people work for about 1 to 5 years onsite gaining relevant skills and experience before deciding to work remotely. This way they will be able to apply the skills and experience they gained while working remotely. Remote work is different from onsite, therefore you must be familiar with a lot of remote tools like Zoom, Skype, Google Drive and many other tools to make your remote work experience a smooth one.