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Cybersecurity analyst: Tasks, skills, training

- Reading Time: 4 minutes
Cybersecurity analyst: Tasks, skills, training

Cybercrime is a scourge that affects all modern businesses. To guard against it, more and more organisations are calling on the services of experts such as cyber analysts.

So what is the role of the SOC analyst? What are their missions? Their skills? How much do they earn? And above all, what training is needed to become a cybersecurity analyst? DataScientest answers all your questions.

What is a cybersecurity analyst?

The cybersecurity analyst (or security operation centre – SOC) is the guardian of the integrity and confidentiality of computer data. In other words, they ensure that computer systems and networks are protected against potential cyber threats.

To do this, it constantly monitors information systems. Using intelligent strategies and tools, they are able to assess IS vulnerabilities, identify risks, understand security incidents and take the necessary action.

What does a cyber analyst do?

As the guardian of IT security, the SOC analyst has a number of essential tasks to perform. These include

  • Threat detection: the SOC analyst must identify all malicious activity on the IT system. In order to detect them as quickly as possible (almost in real time), it is preferable to put in place automated tools to alert them to any suspicious behaviour or vulnerabilities.
  • Implementing cyber procedures: to reduce the risk, it must implement processes for all employees.
  • Prevention: while detection is at the heart of their work, cybersecurity analysts must above all eliminate all risks. Even before they appear.
  • Monitoring: to identify threats easily, the SOC analyst needs to know what risks the company is exposed to. This means identifying the methods used by hackers. To this end, they can gather information from the dark web to discover new trends in hacking and ransomware.
  • Maintenance: they update all the security features of the IT system.
  • Team awareness: as the human factor is the primary cause of hacker attacks, the cybersecurity analyst must make employees aware of good practices.

What skills does a SOC analyst have?

To detect threats and counter resources effectively, cybersecurity analysts need a number of skills, both technical and personal.

Let’s start with the hard skills:

  • Computer systems and IT environments (in particular servers, proxies, firewalls, antivirus software, VPNs, etc.);
  • Mastery of TCP/IP attacks;
  • IS corruption and intrusion techniques;
  • Log management;
  • Programming languages;
  • Analysis of network protocols.

In terms of personal qualities, the cybersecurity analyst must also be :

  • Good communicator: to best protect the organisation, the SOC analyst does not work alone. They must therefore be able to work as part of a team and have good interpersonal skills.
  • Thorough: when it comes to cybersecurity, the devil is often in the detail. That’s why they need to pay particular attention to every anomaly when carrying out their analyses.
  • Resistant to stress: business paralysis, dissemination of confidential data, damage to brand image, loss of astronomical sums of money… Hacker attacks can have disastrous consequences. But it’s up to the cyber analyst to detect them before they cause irreparable damage. Given the stakes involved in their job, they need to be able to keep calm and make the right decisions, whatever the circumstances. Even in the event of an intrusion.
  • Curious: in addition to mastering all the latest technological developments, cybersecurity analysts must also be familiar with the applicable legislation in terms of data protection (in particular the GDPR). Not to mention taking an interest in the organisation’s challenges and businesses.

Why become a cybercrime expert?

First of all, it’s worth remembering that the job of cybersecurity analyst isn’t for everyone. On the other hand, if you have a passion for the digital world, if you enjoy taking on technical challenges, if you want to play a part in your company’s strategic decisions… this could be the job for you!

But beyond your interests, other factors can influence your career choice. Firstly, because the field of cybersecurity is booming. It’s logical: with digital transformation, companies are increasingly exposed to the risk of hacker attacks. And to protect themselves, they need experts. Which makes it a highly prized and valued profession.

Secondly, because cyber analysis concerns all sectors of activity. Hackers attack any structure that collects data (especially sensitive data). By becoming a SOC analyst, you could be working for government organisations, hospitals, financial institutions, major international groups, industries, etc.

How much does a cyber threat intelligence analyst earn?

Given the added value they bring to companies, cybersecurity analysts are very well paid. Right from the start of their career. As a junior analyst, you can easily expect a salary of between €3,200 and €3,500 gross per month. After a few years’ experience, your salary will be around €4,000 to €5,000 gross per month.

But beware: in addition to professional experience, there are major disparities depending on geographical location, the size of the company and its sector of activity.

How will a cybersecurity analyst develop?

After a successful career in cyber threat analysis, you can continue to develop your career.

Most cyber analysts move into more managerial roles. For example, you could take up a position as SOC manager.

But if you don’t want more responsibility, you can also go freelance. Working as a consultant, you can help many companies to limit vulnerabilities and deal with threats.

How do I get to be a cyber security analyst?

In principle, it is possible to become a cybersecurity analyst with a degree in computer science, engineering or cybersecurity. In this case, the job will only be accessible after initial experience in information systems security. You can also enter the profession with a master’s degree specialising in economic intelligence or cybersecurity.

But as cybercrime is becoming increasingly complex, it is preferable to have a solid background. How can you do this? With a state-recognised diploma that allows you to specialise in analysing cyber threats. That’s exactly what we offer at DataScientest. Find out more about our programme.

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