When you work in cybersecurity, you usually have to use a wide range of technical and social skills to keep your organization’s data safe. Having the right skills could be very important if you want to get a job. But what skills do you need to work on?
To find out, we looked at cybersecurity analyst job postings on LinkedIn and Indeed to see which skills were most often mentioned (as of December 2021). Target, Visa, Delaware North, and Mosaic are just some of the places that hire people with these skills.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Cybersecurity Analyst?
Cybersecurity analysts use both technical skills and skills they’ve learned on the job to find security holes and fix them. If you have a background in information technology (IT), you may already have some of technical skills, and many of the workplace skills can be used in a wide range of jobs.
10 Cybersecurity Technical Skills
Scripting is a way to program a computer to do something. Coding is static, but scripts can make images and text move around. You can become a better analyst if you know how to use languages like Python or PowerShell to make tools and automate repetitive tasks. Python is one of the languages that is used the most in cybersecurity. Plus, it’s one of the easiest languages to learn.
2. Controls and Frameworks
A cybersecurity framework is a set of best practises, policies, tools, and security protocols that are meant to help protect the data and business operations of an organisation. A control is a way for your company to keep itself safe from attacks and weaknesses.
Your framework will depend on your organisation and the industry you work in. You might find it useful to learn about some of the most common security frameworks, such as:
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- Center for Information Security (CIS)
- System and Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2)
3. Intrusion detection
A big part of your job as a cybersecurity analyst will be to watch network activity for signs of possible intrusions. When you know how to use security information and event management (SIEM) products, intrusion detection systems (IDS), and intrusion prevention systems (IPS), you can quickly spot suspicious activity or security breaches.
4. Network security control
Many cyberattacks happen across a network of devices that are all connected to each other. The same technologies that make it possible for businesses to work together can also lead to security holes. To keep an organisation safe, you’ll need to know how to secure both wired and wireless networks.
5. Operating systems
All operating systems, both on computers and on mobile devices, have security risks. As a security analyst, you’ll be more likely to do well if you know a lot about MacOS, Windows, and Linux, as well as their command-line interfaces. You might also find it useful to learn more about the risks and weaknesses of mobile operating systems like iOS and Android.
6. Incident response
The goal of cybersecurity is to stop problems from happening, but when they do, it’s important to act quickly to limit damage and loss. To handle an incident well, you need to know your company’s incident response plan and be good at digital forensics and malware analysis.
As more and more businesses move to the cloud, people who know how to work in the cloud are in high demand. Burning Glass Technologies has found that having skills in cloud security can add more than $15,000 to your salary. Because of this, cloud security skills are some of the most valuable in the business.
There are often security risks in the applications themselves. More and more companies are putting security at the centre of their software development and operations (DevOps) phase to make sure that applications are secure from the start.
9. Threat knowledge
“Know thy enemy” could have been something that General Sun Tzu said about cybersecurity. You can be a better cybersecurity analyst if you know what threats are out there right now. If you are new to the field, the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top 10 is a good place to start. It is a document that lists the top 10 security risks for web applications.
10. Regulatory guidelines
Cybersecurity has to keep an organisation safe from attacks, theft, and loss, and it also has to follow rules set by the industry. If you work for a company that does business all over the world, it could be helpful to know about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) is a US federal law that helps protect the privacy of medical records. Cybersecurity analysts who work in the health care field will need to know how to follow it. Some US states also have their own laws about privacy.