Data Security Analyst: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for data security analysts. Get the facts about education and certification requirements, job duties, and salary information to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Data Security Analyst Do?

Data security analysts work to ensure that computer networks and systems are protected from hackers and viruses. They typically work for specific businesses, ensuring the antivirus software and other security programs are up to date and running properly. They evaluate the security measures a company has in place for their computers to identify flaws and vulnerabilities, suggesting changes as needed to make systems more secure and efficient.

The following chart gives you an overview about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree required
Education Field of Study Computer science, information science, information security
Certification Voluntary, such as CISS or GIAC
Job Duties Strategize protection plans for computer systems or networks, install and maintain data security measures, work with clients to determine security risks
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 18% (for all information security analysts)*
Median Salary (2017) $64,546**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Is a Data Security Analyst?

If you find a position as a data security analyst or an information security analyst, your primary job responsibilities will be to plan, install, and maintain data security measures for a particular network or computer system. Businesses that guard sensitive data may employ you to determine how best to protect that data from viruses and hackers. You may work as an independent contractor or you may find a position within a computer services firm.

Your first goal as a data security analyst is to work with a client to determine security risks. You then develop a plan to protect data from corruption and strategize ways to implement that plan. You need to have an understanding of computer programming, telecommunications, and systems analysis.

What Education and Training Might I Need?

Any bachelor's degree program in computer science or information science might theoretically prepare you for a position as a data security analyst. However, one degree program tailored considerably to the profession is a Bachelor of Science in Information Security.

A 4-year degree program in information security generally provides a basic understanding of computer science, business administration, and privacy issues. You also learn the basic fundamentals of information security, structured systems analysis, programming, networking, database management, operating systems security, and system software security. You should gain your skills and knowledge through classroom lectures and computer laboratory experiences.

Can I Earn Certification?

While you're not typically required to have certification in order to work as a data security analyst, you may receive voluntary certification from some software product vendors. For example, Cisco offers the Cisco Information Security Specialist (CISS) designation for IT professionals who've learned how to secure Cisco network devices. You can also earn credentials from industry certifications, such as the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC). GIAC offers certification in the areas of security administration, security management, software security, IT audit, and forensics.

What Salary Could I Expect to Make?

In January 2017, PayScale.com found that most data security analysts employed in the United States earned a median salary from $44,697 to $88,088. With the inclusion of bonuses and profit sharing, the total pay ranged from $36,150 to $87,925.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer systems analysts study computer systems and practices in place at an organization to identify flaws and devise solutions, recommending changes to management, technology, and other business practices. Database administrators secure files with encryption software, keeping the data contained in a secure environment only accessible by authorized users. Computer programmers write and edit computer code that instructs different computer applications how to act when given certain commands. These professionals will likely need a minimum of a bachelor's education to find employment.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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