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Information Security Analyst

How to Become an Information Security Analyst: 5 Soft Skills to Develop to Excel

As of 2022, over 60% of corporate data was stored in the cloud. And with technology also comes challenges and risks. Forecasts reveal businesses will lose $10.5 trillion annually to cybercrime by 20251. Given the recent high-profile data breaches, it's now essential for businesses to invest in cybersecurity to ensure the privacy and security of customer data. This is driving the demand for information security analysts. The career currently ranks 5th in the 100 best jobs in the US2. Becoming an information security analyst requires more than just tech skills. Understanding the soft skills for this career will boost your chances of success. Keep reading to learn about this exciting job. Then we’ll show you how our free personalized coaching service will set you apart from the rest.

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What do Information security analysts do?

An information security analyst has many roles. Foremost, they protect a company's network infrastructure from cyberattacks and data breaches.

Information security analysts develop security solutions, standards, and best practices to secure a company's sensitive data3. They also look for loopholes and vulnerabilities in systems or computer codes and seal off all possible entry points. They do this through pen tests—simulated cyber attacks against a company's computer systems.

However, as an information security analyst, you can be partly systems designer, police officer, trainer, and policy maker. You can also work in both the public and private sectors.

Other key responsibilities include:

  • Researching the latest information technology trends.
  • Recommending security enhancements to senior IT staff or management.
  • Conducting security audits and preparing reports. This shows attempted attacks, security breaches, and general metrics.
  • Helping staff install or learn about new security products or procedures.
  • Monitoring the company's networks for security breaches and investigating when one occurs.

You can find an information security analyst in almost any organization that uses, stores, or shares large amounts of information via computers. This includes banking networks, corporate databases, military intelligence, and office networks. But most  work is for consulting, computer, and business or financial firms.

What are the skills needed to become an information security analyst?

As an information security analyst, you'll need a blend of technical and soft skills to excel in the field.  Here are the top five skills you'll need to become an information security analyst.

Analytical skills

Cyber security requires you to think analytically because the role involves a lot of research and strategic thinking. As an information security analyst, one of your key roles is to track computer networks and look for security threats. The role also involves governance, risk and compliance assessments, and email security. Therefore, you'll need well-developed analytic skills to perform this function.

Strong analytical skills allow you to take information from many sources, discern patterns and make decisions. The skills also allow you to minimize risks and ensure compliance. You can efficiently study computer systems, assess potential risks, and consider possible solutions.

Systems thinking

An information security analyst will need to study an organization's systems and how the elements interact. To solve cybersecurity issues, you need a holistic understanding of technology infrastructure components, structures, and their interaction in cyberspace. This is what we call systems thinking—an essential skill for information security analysts. And with this skill, you can quickly develop plans and security protocols to deal with data breaches and attacks.

Problem-solving ingenuity to protect electronic data

As an information security analyst, you should always find a solution to the problems you find in your client's technology infrastructure. You also need to act quickly whenever there's a breach or attack on an organization's systems. But you won't do this if you lack problem-solving skills.

Problem-solving requires flexibility, teamwork, and innovation. It also requires a high level of creativity to solve complex issues quickly.

You must keep up to date with current and emerging security systems and cyber attack tactics. You must also carry out risk assessments and create security policies. This requires troubleshooting and problem-solving skills.

Highly responsive

You must be proactive in predicting information security risks and executing protection strategies. This may help you prevent a cyber attack before it hits your systems.

A forward-thinking approach allows you to anticipate the future based on recent data and trends and initiate security measures accordingly.


You must be detail-oriented to become a successful information security analyst. This is because many cybersecurity threats are hard to detect. You need a strong focus on the details of a security system and the ability to acknowledge even the slightest change in the system's performance.

A detail-oriented information security analyst is quick to detect slight changes that could indicate unauthorized software or malware, or a security breach. This skill could help you see vulnerabilities and secure your systems to prevent severe issues.

Develop these important information security analyst soft (human) skills

Developing soft skills will enhance your career in the tech field.   We use people analytics tools to provide detailed insights into the behaviors and attitudes you need to succeed in your cybersecurity career.

Take our free assessment to better understand your motivations at work.  And how they relate to information security analyst skills. You’ll receive feedback on your motivations and insights related to any blind spots.

If you want to be an expert, work with an expert! Here at Fingerprint for Success, we have over 20 years of experience helping people such as you. Through our free coaching programs, you can set goals. Best of all, Coach Marlee will help you achieve them.

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How long does it take to become an information security analyst?

The time it takes to excel in this career varies depending on multiple factors, including your training, skills, and experience. Here's what prepares you to pursue a career as an information security analyst.

What higher education is required?

Let's look at security analyst education requirements. First, you need a bachelor's degree in computer and information technology.  A computer-related field such as math or engineering will also allow you to become an information security analyst. These undergraduate degrees may stem from generalized programs such as computer science or programming. You can also get a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity.

However, you may pursue this profession with a high school diploma, relevant industry training, and certifications. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 30% of those working in information security don't have a bachelor's degree or higher4. Most employers prefer information security analysts with professional certifications.

In the US, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in management information systems will give you a deeper dive into computer based-security. This is essential if you want to apply your computer security skills in the context of business management.

With a degree in cybersecurity, you can properly design, develop, execute, and oversee an organization's computer security system. The curriculum offers knowledge about IT-related systems and trends. It also teaches you how to handle critical computer-related issues such as cyber-attacks and data breaches.

A degree may help you stand out in the job market. Yet you must add experience to your resume to attract more opportunities. For instance, you need several years of experience in information security to become an intermediate-level security analyst.

Having on-the-job experience demonstrates your ability to apply your knowledge in real-world situations, which is what hiring teams look for. So generally, you must have experience in an information technology department. For instance, as a network and computer systems administrator.

What licenses, certifications, and registrations are needed?

You must have something unique, that other candidates lack, to stand out and get hired as an information security analyst. Many employers prefer candidates who have an information security certification.

Some certifications are for entry-level security analysts, while others are designed for experienced analysts. In the US, credentials such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) indicate that you have more profound cybersecurity knowledge. For instance, Certified Ethical Hacker credentials prove that you can hack into a company's network security system to identify and expose vulnerabilities.

Additionally, Reverse Engineering Analyst Certification shows that you have the skills to analyze malware in a system.

You can even get certification in specialized areas such as systems auditing.

What advancement or specialization opportunities are there?

You can advance your career path to become a chief security officer or a computer and information systems manager. A chief security officer provides executive leadership and directs all efforts concerned with the organization's security. An information systems manager oversees the use of technology in an organization.

You can also pursue a master's in cybersecurity for your advancement in the US. This will help strengthen your skills relevant to adjacent subject areas, including business and computer engineering. The program combines academic coursework with practical work experience, giving you an edge over the competition.

Also, once you have enough experience, you may advance toward a leadership role within the organization. For instance, you may become a cybersecurity manager to oversee your company's network and systems. In this role, you'll manage security teams and ensure security compliance.

Consider also that you can advance to the highest security role in an organization. This is the chief information security officer (CISO). You'll manage operations, policies, and budgets across the organization's security infrastructure at this executive level.

Other security analyst positions include:

  • Network architects - specialize in computer communication networks such as local area networks, cloud computing, and company-wide networks. You'll be designing networks, analyzing data traffic, and upgrading hardware, among other tasks.
  • Information researcher - focus on new ideas in information security. Your role will be to generate innovative ideas to improve technology.
  • Software developer - you can develop programs, operating systems, or applications. Your role is to conduct market research and create programs that meet market needs.
  • Network administrator - this role requires you to keep your company's computer networks functioning during regular operations. You'll be responsible for your organization's local and wide-area networks and other data systems. You'll set up new systems, troubleshoot issues, and conduct system updates. You may also need to train other staff in technology-related tasks.

Generally, you're not limited to the role of an information security analyst. There are multiple cybersecurity analyst jobs in the market to consider. You can advance and specialize in specific sectors within the field.

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What are the career opportunities and outlook for information security analysts?

In a dynamic job market, you can only be safe with a future-proofed career. So how is the job outlook for information security analysts?

Generally, the job outlook for information security analysts is positive5. The demand for security analysts is high due to global digital transformation across sectors and industries.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 35% job growth for information security analysts between 2021 and 2031—this is much faster than average for all occupations. Over the decade, there will be about 19,500 openings for security analysts each year. Most of the openings will stem from the need to replace employees who switch to different occupations or exit the labor force (retire).

Globally, the demand for information security analysts will surge due to the increased frequency of cyberattacks5. Organizations will look for analysts to create innovative solutions to protect their systems and prevent rampant cyber attacks.

Businesses need information security analysts to boost their focus on enhancing cyber security. Consider also, the rise of e-commerce and a shift to remote work which have caused a high demand for enhanced security. This contributes to the expected employment growth for information security analysts.

Keep in mind that digital health services and telehealth have also increased. This increases high data security risks for healthcare providers. Therefore, there will be more demand for information security specialists to secure patients' personal information and data.

Where can information security analysts work?

You can work as an information security analyst in the public and private sectors. Your primary function is to protect your company's digital assets. However, your role revolves around data and network protection.

You'll work with IT teams, executives, and colleagues across the organization.

Here are the largest industry employers of information security analysts, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Computer systems design and related services - 27%
  • Finance and insurance - 15%
  • Information - 14%
  • Management of companies and enterprises - 8%
  • Administrative and support services - 5%

As an information security analyst, you'll mostly work full-time—some work more than 40 hours a week. Also, you may have to be on call outside regular working hours in case of an emergency.

A large volume work for computer companies, consulting firms, or business and financial companies.

How much can information security analysts earn?

The annual salary for an information security analyst varies depending on your skills and experience, the organization you're working for, your job prospects, and the market.

In the U.S., the median annual salary of information security analysts is US$102,600. This could be more or less depending on multiple factors such as your experience and the organization or industry you work for.

In London, an information security analyst earns an average salary of £40,168 per year. A similar role in Australia earns an average salary of AUD$90,000 to AUD$110,000 annually.

In India, an information security analyst earns a median salary of ₹6,04819 per year.

So your geographic location also affects security analyst salaries.

Frequently asked questions

How to become a cybersecurity analyst without experience?

It might be challenging to pursue a career in cybersecurity without relevant experience. However, this shouldn't shut down your dreams. Here are some tips to help you become a cybersecurity analyst without professional experience.

First, learn the techniques cybersecurity professionals use to secure their organization's data and systems. This includes security control, data and network security, risk management, and recovery. Second,  boost your cybersecurity training—enroll in a cybersecurity bootcamp. Take online courses and college courses to boost your academic qualifications. Additionally, obtain cybersecurity certifications to demonstrate your technical skills and know-how.

You also need to develop your soft skills, including communication and problem-solving. Entry-level cybersecurity jobs are great places to start your career.

What to learn to become a cybersecurity analyst?

You need to learn many things to become a successful cybersecurity analyst. Degrees and diplomas are vital. But don’t forget, as well as building your technical skills, you must understand and develop essential soft skills to succeed in your career. These include problem-solving, analysis, attention to detail, and communication.

Is it hard to become an information security analyst?

There's no definitive answer to this question. It all depends on your determination. Everything will flow if you're determined.

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