Security Analyst Kaitātari Whakamarumaru
Security analysts create and monitor security processes and frameworks to protect an organisation's information systems and computer networks from being illegally accessed.
Security analysts may choose to become certified or chartered through associations such as the Institute of IT Professionals.
Security analysts may do some or all of the following:
- analyse risks and security alerts, and identify and manage security breaches
- install and implement hardware and software to prevent unauthorised access to information and networks
- monitor information coming into and leaving organisations, and employees' internet access
- write and enforce security policies
- work with law enforcement agencies to manage security threats
- make employees aware of security issues and their responsibilities as users of information systems.
Security analysts spend a lot of time using computers, so they need to know how to use computer equipment properly to avoid occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).
Useful experience for security consultants includes:
- work in entry-level IT jobs such as information technology helpdesk/support technician
- on-the-job training through IT internships and graduate recruitment programmes
- hacking experience gained through study or hacking conferences
- working on individual IT projects such as setting up your own penetration testing lab or assembling computers.
Security analysts need to be:
- detail-oriented, curious and eager to work in-depth on technical questions
- analytical thinkers and problem solvers
- good at seeing the big picture, to examine problems and solutions from all sides
- interested in continuous learning as they need to keep up to date with fast-changing technology
- skilled communicators.
Security analysts need to have:
- strong analytical and diagnostic skills
- knowledge of computer and network systems, devices and software
- knowledge of security monitoring and how to conduct security investigations
- up to date understanding of internet threats
- knowledge of current IT security standards, practices and methods.
- usually work full time and may also work evenings and weekends, and be on call
- work in offices in conditions that may be stressful when working to strict deadlines whilst responding to security threats
- may travel locally or overseas to meet clients.
A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter tertiary training. Useful school subjects include digital technologies, maths, physics and English.
For Year 11 to 13 students, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain industry experience.
Security analysts may progress to set up their own business, or move into roles such as:
- security consultant
- security architect
- security manager
- IT project manager
- security director
- chief information and security officer (CISO).
- Security consultant job information
- Information technology manager job information
- Information technology architect job information
Security analysts may specialise in:
- cloud security – protecting data stored on servers hosted on the internet rather than on a local server or personal computer
- internet security – protecting against internet crime, especially unauthorised access to computer systems and data
- mobile security – protecting smartphones and other portable devices, and the networks they connect to, from threats
- network security – protecting the internal computer network of an organisation.
Years Of Training1-4 years of training required.
There are no specific requirements to become a security analyst. However, you usually need one or more of:
- a diploma or degree, preferably in an IT-related subject such as network engineering, computer science or cyber security
- a relevant industry-based certification, such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), which people usually study for after they have IT experience
- three to seven years’ experience in intermediate-level security roles or related roles such as network or systems administrator.
Common ways of gaining IT-related knowledge include learning through online courses and tutorials, and working on your own projects.
If you are a graduate from a field other than IT, you can gain a fast-tracked IT-related qualification through ICT Graduate Schools.