An IT security analyst is someone who monitors security controls and prevents unauthorized access to computers and devices, as well as networks and data. This includes but is not limited to firewalls, malware protection systems, security incidents, remote access systems and VPNs.
IT Security Analyst Job Checklist
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Working as an IT security analyst, you are responsible for maintaining top-notch security of all corporate information and data and to ensure said data remains protected from compromise.
When a security incident does arise, it is the job of the security analyst to investigate and resolve the issue in a timely manner. To prevent security threats, the job requires regular security risk assessments, vulnerability scans, and disaster recovery plans, while adhering to the security standards of the company.
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An IT security analyst must be fully aware of corporate security goals and thrive to meet those goals using current technologies and best practices.
IT security analysts must know how to source, install and maintain various security systems, including but not limited to unified threat management (UTM), messaging gateway, security information and event management (SIEM), encryption system and endpoint security.
They are required to observe server logs, firewall logs, intrusion detection logs, web filtering and antiviral systems for any unusual or suspicious activity, in order to prevent compromise. Conducting business impact analysis (BIA) and disaster recovery planning (DRP) is crucial, as well as ensuring that recovery configurations are updated frequently.
Security analysts are obligated to monitor external sources to find available security patches and are to prioritize and make recommendations for implementation.
Finally, it is expected that IT security analysts demonstrate knowledge in the planning and creation of enterprise security documents and architecture. It is important to remain up to date with detailed knowledge of the IT security industry. This includes the awareness of new or updated security solutions, improved security processes and the development of new attacks and threat vectors.
To become an IT security analyst, a college diploma or university degree in computer science is preferred. However, numerous online job listings state that a bachelor’s degree in technology or information security is also acceptable. IT professionals seeking a career in this field should have 5-7 years of practical experience, which may include designing, architecting and maintaining security solutions.
A recognized IT certification in the field is often favored, such as SANS, CISSP, etc. One must also have broad knowledge of security industry standards and best practices.
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Other desired qualifications of professionals seeking a career in the IT security analyst field may include the following:
- Technical knowledge of networks, PC, and server operating systems (Windows, Linux, VMWare, etc.)
- Vast knowledge of the workings of routers, switches, firewalls, VPNs, intrusion-detection systems, web filtering, anti-virus, and data encryption
- Excellent communication skills, both oral and writing, with a variety of audiences
- Excellent interpretation skills
- Excellent attention to fine details
- Can present ideas in a business and user-friendly style
In the United States, the average salary of an IT security analyst is approximately $71,321 per year. Additional cash compensations may range anywhere between $1,405 and $9,758. On average, cash compensation may be around $4,527.
Other benefits depend on what a company has to offer. This may include competitive rewards programs, paid volunteer days and the chance to be part of a high performance team that may lead to greater successes.
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