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What is a Cyber Security Analyst? Everything you need to know

The UK has a serious skills shortage when it comes to cyber security, and the chasm between supply and demand for expertise is widening at an alarming rate. No wonder the popularity of cyber security courses has never been greater…

One of the most in demand jobs specifically within the cyber security realm is a security analyst. We’re going to delve a bit deeper into exactly what a security analyst is, what they do, how much they earn, how much opportunity there is for this role, plus why they’re so in demand. Here goes…

See also: 7 IT skills that are mega hot right now


What is a Cyber Security Analyst?

  • detects and prevents cyber threats to an organisation
  • finds weaknesses in software, hardware and networks
  • finds ways to protect company information

What does a Cyber Security Analyst do?

  • vulnerability testing
  • risk analysis
  • analyse breaches to determine cause
  • analyse data to recommend changes
  • combat malware

What salary can you expect?

According to ITjobswatch, the average salary for a Security Analyst in 2017 was £55,000 per year which is an increase of over £10k in the last two years. And this isn’t set to decrease anytime soon…

See what the job boards are saying…


What about cyber security job growth?

Did you know that job openings have increased by 31.9% in the last two years in the IT security job market? One of the most intriguing figures – we think – is that information security analysts will be the fastest growing job category in IT, with a predicted growth overall of 37% in the years between 2012 and 2022. 

That’s an incredible growth… Who’s excited?! We definitely are.

The skills shortage is an incredible opportunity. Sure, it’s a worry for the country and the world that so many cyber hacks are happening every. single. day. But, on the flip, the demand for those who’ve undertaken the necessary IT security courses is on the rise. Personal win!… Sometimes you’ve got to be selfish.

What’s more, the Enterprise Strategy Group – ESG  – who have been researching, writing about and addressing the cyber security skills shortage for a number of years, have not too long ago published their annual IT spending intentions survey. In the survey, they hit up 633 senior IT and cyber security professionals to find out where they think the key areas for spending should be in IT departments worldwide.

Shock – when asked to identify the skills areas that their employees and organisation as a whole would benefit from developing, a massive 44% gave the nod to cyber security. 

That’s nearly double the emphasis on development of big data analysis, which we’re sure you’ll know, has been a hot topic on everyone’s lips in the IT world over the last few years.

See also: ESG Global’s Cyber Security Skills Shortage 2016



Why are cyber security skills in demand?

Companies around the UK are always at risk of cyber attacks, ergo, companies will always require help from IT security analysts to help detect and prevent said threats. 

See also: Almost half of UK firms hit by cyber breach or attack in the past year

It’s been reported in the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 that nearly half of all businesses in the UK have been their security breached in the last year. 

See also: Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017

Apparently, nearly seven in ten large businesses reported that they’d identified a breach or attack. What’s even more shocking, is that the cost to businesses of this size, ranged from £20,000 to some millions of pounds worth of losses due to security breaches. 

It only takes a bit of common sense to realise that companies will do anything they can to cut these costs and minimise these risks. And the best option for them in the current climate is to employ staff with the skills to support them in this huge attempt of saving this money. If you’re looking to be one of the solutions to businesses’ problems, give it your best shot by taking on some cyber security courses and upskilling as much as possible.

See also: Cyber insecure? The threat to businesses worsens
See also: Not the NHS! National Health Service Trust hit by cyber attack


What certifications do you need to become an IT Security Analyst?

CompTIA Cyber Security Analyst+ – view course

Arguably one of the most important of the cyber security courses you should consider for your career as a Security Analyst, is the newly launched CompTIA Cyber Security Analyst+

This course has recently been released, by CompTIA, in a bid to help you learn the ropes in:

  • configuring and using threat detection tools
  • performing data analysis
  • interpreting the results to identify vulnerabilities, threats and risks to an organisation

This top pick of the IT security courses is an absolute corker for getting you to a place where you can go in and smash a role as a security analyst. 

It follows on incredibly well from the Network+ and Security+, both also provided by CompTIA. It gives you a technical and hands on focus to IT security courses and cyber security skills development as a whole.

Whether you’re just looking to branch into IT security as your specialism, or searching for some exciting new ways to expand your experience, maybe you’re even at the top of your IT security game, the CompTIA CSA+ is a crazily worthwhile investment of your time!

As with all our cyber security courses, if you choose to study the CompTIA CSA+ with the Learning People, you’ll benefit from a number of extra perks including:

  • IT practice labs – a place for you to try out what you’ve learnt in a test environment
  • Expert mentors – ask questions of industry experts and get their advice on implementing your newly learned skills
  • Mock exams – practice what you’ve learnt in a mock test before you take the real exam



What other cyber security courses should you explore for a career as a Cyber Security Analyst?

If you’re looking to get or advance your career in cyber security, these other IT security courses will be your savour…

See also: Which IT course is right for me?

Want to know more?

Alternatives for cyber security work

Like the sound of working in cyber security but don’t want to commit to a permanent role from the word go? Why not consider contract work? Thousands of cyber security jobs are advertised daily across the country, it’s hard to sift through the one that’s right for you – especially if you don’t want a permanent role straight away.

Take a look at our top pick for contractor jobs in IT… ContractRecruit. They’ll help save you time trawling through irrelevant permanent positions you can easily find the career you’ll be happy with.