Information Security Analyst

Become an Information Security Analyst

As computer information networks become more complex and databases become larger, the field of information security continues to grow and advance. If you like computer science and creative problem solving, consider the career path of an information security analyst. These highly educated and trained professionals design safe network systems, anticipate security breaches, and work to prevent leaks and protect private data. At Fairfax University of America in Virginia, students can gain knowledge and expertise through our computer science degree programs and our computer science micro-credentialing certifications offered through the School of Computer and Information Systems.

What Is an Information Security Analyst?

With more data comes more risk. Information security analysts, who usually hold a computer science degree, use an in-depth understanding of digital networks to design and protect electronic data. Just as computer technology is ever-present in today’s corporate and social environments, these networking professionals are needed throughout several sectors, including:

  • Business
  • Government
  • Non-profit
  • Healthcare
  • Finance
  • Education

Through their expertise, information security analysts erect firewalls and take other measures to help protect valuable data, assets, and information. This includes medical records, credit card numbers, social security numbers, passwords, and other data.

Additionally, information security analysts often help develop disaster recovery plans to ensure their organization continues to function in the event of an emergency. They oversee and train employees who work in IT so that security and emergency plans are followed. Also, many individuals are expected to be onsite to help recover operations should any emergency occur.

These computer science professionals continually research current trends and stay up-to-date on the latest strategies that bad actors use to violate privacy data. They monitor both internal and external threats, watching for ransomware attacks, data theft, and situations where records might be damaged.

Typical Job Duties for Information Security Analysts

At Fairfax University of America, there are two computer science degree programs of interest to students who want to prepare for work as an information security analyst. Our bachelor of science in computer science degree program includes a strong focus on networking and cybersecurity. And for those students who are interested in pursuing a master’s degree, we offer a master of science in networking and cybersecurity program. Through internships and other opportunities, graduates can gain practical experience. They also help students discover places where they might want to work and the types of industries or economic sectors that seem attractive.

Information Security Analysts perform a variety of duties and tasks. Here are some of the most common:

  • Design computer network security systems
  • Maintain firewalls and manage networks
  • Test systems and make risk assessments
  • Develop best practices for secure computer networking
  • Train staff and monitor performance regarding security
  • Understand laws around protected data and privacy
  • Research possible threats and implement new systems
  • Schedule regular upgrades, along with requisite training for staff
  • Work together with management and leadership to protect data security
  • Develop and scale data protections as the organization grows

Career Opportunities and Salaries for Information Security Analysts

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for information security analysts in May 2021 was $102,600. Often working more than 40 hours a week, these computer science professionals are employed by companies and agencies in the following areas:

  • Information technology
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Management enterprises
  • Computer systems design
  • Administrative and support services

The BLS projects that growth in employment for information security analysts will grow through the year 2030. As the modern economy adopts more technology (such as cloud computing) and data becomes an increasingly valuable commodity for business operations and growth, information security needs will continue to increase.

Prepare to Become an Information Security Analyst at Fairfax University of America

If you like computer science and want to work in a field that demands creative analytical thinking, consider a career as an information security analyst. Whether you work for a company or as a freelance consultant, there is a growing demand for the skills and knowledge required for keeping data safe. Students can gain the skills and experience necessary for a career as an information security analyst by earning a computer science degree at Fairfax University of America in Virginia. Request information today or complete an online application.

Attain the Proper Skills

To become an Information Security Analyst, you need theoretical knowledge and practical ability with the various skills associated with the job, including programming, software development, data science, and machine learning. You also must have a firm understanding of different techniques used in testing, and how agile processes function within technology businesses. You will need around five to 10 years of experience in Information Security Analyst jobs to gain this level of proficiency.

As with any other job, you will need transferrable skills to solve problems and interact with co-workers, including effective communication, critical thinking, and creativity.

Seek Certification

Technological developments are expanding job opportunities in Information Security Analyst, but they also are increasing competitiveness. Having extra Information Security Analyst credentials can distinguish you from other candidates. Numerous organizations offer Information Security Analyst certification programs, including universities and big tech companies such as IBM.

Earn a Degree

Without a bachelor’s degree in a related field, it is difficult to gain the skills needed to become an Information Security Analyst. You can acquire multiple degrees in mathematics, statistics, engineering, or physics to pursue this career path, but a computer science degree typically is the easier route to an Information Security Analyst position. To access more advanced opportunities and higher-paying salaries, consider earning a master’s degree in computer science or a similar area.

Why Study at Fairfax University of America?

The School of Computer and Information Systems at Fairfax University of America offers several programs for people looking to become Information Security Analysts. You can enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program to explore different opportunities within the field, or you can concentrate your studies by participating in the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning program. Both programs enable students to become transformative leaders and experience personal and professional growth in Information Security Analyst positions and other fields.

Located in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in Virginia, Fairfax University of America is a non-profit academic institution dedicated to setting a new standard in higher education. You can complete an application or request information today to learn more about our computer and information systems programs.