Five Things Good Cybersecurity Training Must Offer

Five Things Good Cybersecurity Training Must Offer

Anyone who starts looking for cybersecurity training can feel overwhelmed with the variety of options out there. An online search will show you everything from the free courses to a master’s degree, on-site classes or online programs, longer or shorter programs. And if you dare ask in online forums, you will find those who are very passionate about being self-taught. 

Don’t worry. Before you keep reading about programs, certifications, and degrees, take some time to understand the key elements to look for cybersecurity training. Remember, the program you choose will be the first step to a career facing a growing talent gap, so making your resume stand out from the pack is the key to a gratifying life. 

1- Curriculum 

When choosing a cybersecurity program, make sure it goes beyond teaching technical skills. Please don’t misunderstand; those skills are key in your educational background, but a good program will give its students the necessary tools to become a lifelong student.  

A good program is also constantly updated to include the latest technologies, threats, and best practices for attacking and defending networks and systems. This is a field that is constantly facing new risks and attacks, and to keep up with the pace of the bad guys, you will be required to update your skills constantly 

2- Hands-On Training 

The program you choose should give you more than just theoretical knowledge; it will give you hands-on learning opportunities. It should be designed with experiential learning to give you real examples of how the content discussed is relevant during an attack and how each topic is related to other technologies and circumstances.   

A good cybersecurity professional is one that, since day one, is putting his skills and knowledge into practice. Then you will know if you truly understand how to apply every piece of knowledge earned in class.  

3- Industry Expert Instructors 

When researching cybersecurity programs, make sure to look for the instructor´s resume. If it is not published on their website, ask for it. This will help you understand who will be teaching you, their background, and their area of expertise.  

As it would happen in any other field: you want to learn from the best. A skilled instructor has been in the trenches of cybersecurity, that has fought battles against hackers, that knows how to apply the NIST framework: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover; one that knows how to leverage the lessons learned in the classroom.  

4- Regionally Recognized Certifications 

Make sure the program you choose grants you industry-recognized certifications; this will help your resume stand out from competitors when applying for a job and will demonstrate your level of commitment to cybersecurity and to updating your skills.   

5- WorkLife Balance 

The program you choose must fit into your lifestyle. It would help if you considered the class schedule, the additional hours you will need to invest, your work schedule, and your family plans. Also, ask yourself if you would rather take an online or in-person program. Each one has its own benefits. For example, an online program can be a better fit for your work schedule as you don’t have to go from one place to another, and it also helps with social distancing and COVID protection. And an in-person program gives you an easier way to networking.  

When searching for cybersecurity training, make sure you take into consideration the above criteria. But don’t just stop there! Feel free to ask any questions you might have; academies and schools are there to help you figure out if the program they offer has what you are looking for.  

 

Communication Tips for Cybersecurity Professionals

Communication Tips for Cybersecurity Professionals

Companies hiring people to work in this field are looking for more than just technical skills; they want cybersecurity professionals with a complete set of capabilities that will add value to the team. Those with problem-solving skills, attention to detail, a desire to learn, adaptability, and communication skills have a greater chance of capturing a recruiter’s attention.

We’ve said it before, working in cybersecurity is not what you see in movies. This is not a job you will be doing all by yourself sitting in front of a computer. In fact, it is the other way around. Cybersecurity requires you to talk to others, be able to explain technical things to non-technical people and to be able to have good relationships with vendors and co-workers. 

At CyberWarrior Academy, we focus on helping future successful cybersecurity professionals improve their technical and soft skills. We want to help you build an exceptional resume. 

This blog gives you some communication tips that will be very useful when working in any cybersecurity position.

1- Speak the Same Language as Everyone Else 

Most people don’t understand what cybersecurity terms such as “privacy,” “security controls,” or “network defense” mean. For your communication to be effective, you need to learn to speak in a way that anyone understands. 

For example, if you are going to talk with the Board of Executives of your organization, you should put yourself in their shoes, understand the real priorities of the business, and address the impact cybersecurity can have on them. That way, you can remove confusion and achieve better results. 

On the other hand, if you are going to speak with someone from another department, you should use the risk language. Everyone understands risks. We have been taught since childhood how to avoid it. 

Speaking the language of risk and business will open doors to better relationships with everyone in your organization and a better return to every suggestion you make. Technical language should only be used when speaking to other experts in the area.  

2- Use Tools and Visuals as your Aid 

The first thing you need to do is center your conversation in relevant data, find out what really matters to your audience, and focus mainly on that. To help them understand what you are talking about, it is a great idea to include visual aids in your presentation. 

At CyberWarrior Academy, we strongly recommend cybersecurity professionals use industry statistics and compare them to internal data. It would help if you also considered building risk heat maps to present cyber risks in an easy and visually attractive format.  

3- Bring the Risk Closer to your Organization 

Over the past few years, we have seen how more and more business leaders are starting to consider cyber risks as an important threat to their organization. Yet, there is still a lot of work to do. One way to address this situation is to make it easier for them to understand the threats they face and their possible consequences. 

For example, explain the different scenarios that can happen to your organization if there is no firewall in place or what can happen if there is not working from home policy. Include the financial and reputation impact, statistics, and examples of organizations similar to yours that have been victims of these types of cyber risks.

It is important to do the same when talking to coworkers, but do it on a personal level. Please focus your comments on what can happen to them, their loved ones, and their data. Let them know what the risk is on a personal level of clicking a phishing link or how they can protect their data with two-factor authentication.

Communicating with different roles within your organization will open the doors to having a well-trained staff, new security projects, and a more resilient organization.  

 

Cyber Resilience: What is It?

Cyber Resilience: What is It? 

In the world we live now, not only do we (humans) need to learn how to be resilient, confront and recover from adversity, but we also need to make our businesses and organizations, especially in terms of security,  able to fight tough battles while continuing their operation.  

Business leaders and cybersecurity professionals need to understand that security does not accept an all-or-nothing approach. You can’t expect that your security controls will protect you from every hacker who attempts to break into your network. Nor can you operate without having certain security protocols or letting anyone with a username and password have access to every piece of information.  

Any organization, big or small, is constantly at risk of becoming a  victim of a cyber-attack. Our job, as cybersecurity professionals, is to build a security strategy and enable security protocols to guarantee business continuity, as well as the security of their assets.  

What is Cyber Resilience? 

Cyber resilience can be defined as the ability an organization has to enable business continuity while preparing for, responding to, and recovering from cyber threats.  

As cybersecurity professionals, we need to accept that there is always a chance of hackers passing through your security controls. Even if you follow all the best practices, and enable every possible security protocol, hackers can and will pass them because that is their job. Ours is to detect that breach in time, protect our assets from it, and revert any possible damage.  

Being a cyber-resilient organization is being ready to act in case cybersecurity measures fail (antivirus, anti-malware, VPN, firewalls) or when systems are disrupted (either because of human error, power outages, natural disasters). It is knowing what could go wrong, how to act if it happens, who is involved, and where everything that you need to take care of is 

What are the Benefits of Being a Cyber Resilient Organization? 

We live in a world that is constantly evolving. Cybersecurity is not the exception. The best path to business continuity is having an approach to cybersecurity that is flexible, that adapts to change, and takes into account every possible scenario 

Being a cyber-resilient organization means:  

  1. You will have a better security posture and the ability to identify, filter, and respond to risks. Which, over time, will turn into fewer security incidents or breaches.  
  2. It will be easier to comply with regulatory and legal requirements to collect and protect thirdparty data.  
  3. There will be protocols and restrictions on data access to guarantee the security of your assets.  
  4. To have a back-up plan to keep your business running in case of cyber-attacks or any other technological interruption.  

 

The Importance of Cyber Higiene Training for Your Organization

The Importance of Cyber Hygiene Training for Your Organization

When you think of the word hygiene what comes to mind? Taking a bath, brushing your teeth, washing your hands, combing your hair, etc? Cybersecurity needs the same daily care as your body, it needs  regular checkups that will help you know if everything is working as it is supposed to. 

Cyber hygiene refers to the practices that users of computers and networks take to maintain their system health and improve their online security. These practices, if done regularly, will help conserve the efficiency of your hardware and software, keep your security protocols updated, and neutralize or mitigate cyberattacks 

Humans: The Weakest Link 

Long ago were the days where cybersecurity relied solely on the IT Department. Experience has taught us that everyone who uses a computer or device connected to the internet is at risk of becoming the next victim of cybercrimeIn fact, with remote work being the new norm, during 2020 we saw an increase in social engineering attacks, a trend we expect will keep growing this year.  

As cybersecurity professionals, part of the job is to educate every member of your organization on the best practices for cybersecurity  and help them understand how they play an important role in keeping hackers away. Remember the weakest link in this field is the human factor – 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error 

It doesn’t matter how big or small your organization is. If you have 1, 10, or over 10,000 employees you are still at risk of becoming a victim of cyberattacksSymantec revealed that the smaller the organization the higher the risk. Statistics demonstrate that businesses who have less than 250 employees are currently those with the highest targeted malicious email rate at 1 in 323. 

Common Risks of Not Having a Cyber Hygiene Routine 

As we live in an interconnected world, where everyone is constantly using a device connected to the internet, the risks of getting attacked are higher. We have to be more aware of the maintenance each hardware, software or online application needs on a regular basis. If not, we can easily become a victim of hacker, malware or breach.  

The most common risks of not having a cyber hygiene routine include:  

  1. Loss of misplacement of data: hard drives and cloud services are especially vulnerable to hackers causing information to be misplaced or even lost forever.  
  2. Security breaches: as we mentioned before, social engineering attacks such as phishing, whaling and pretexting are getting more popular and they can lead anyone to reveal sensitive information, grant hackers access to systems, and a reputation crisis.  
  3. Out of date software: software vendors constantly offer updates to patch vulnerabilities, not updating them as soon as they come out can make your system more vulnerable to attacks. This also happens  with antivirus and other security software.  

That being said, not having a security system in place, employees fully trained to spot a suspicious email or website, and constant checkups of your cyber hygiene may cost you your organization’s data, savings, and reputation. 

The year 2020 was a challenging year in terms of cybersecurity. Since the pandemic started, the FBI reported a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes, and the cost of  data breach is close to $137,000. And 2021 is not going to get easier.  

 

Veterans in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity: A Career Choice for Veterans

For the past few months, we have been actively participating in career fairs with the US military. We have talked to several active personnel facing the same questions in these events: what is a good next step for me? What type of work can I do once I retire? 

Not everyone wants to follow the common path of going into the police force or public services. Most of them are looking for reintegration into civilian life, working for a private company, even if that means spending time catching up and learning new skills.  

Cybersecurity presents itself as an interesting career option. Not only are there over 310,000 unfilled jobs in the US, but it is a field with a talent gap that is expected to keep growing for the coming months.  

But what makes it such an attractive option for veterans?  

Cybersecurity: a Great Option for Veterans

There are different benefits of having a military background when transitioning to cybersecurity. On one side, your experience gave you a set of skills that makes you an ideal candidate for a cybersecurity job, while on the other, this is a role where you will still be honoring your commitment to serve our country.  

1- A way to continue serving our country 

Over the past few months, we have seen citiesgovernment offices, and even a city water supply fall victim to cybercrime. So, another way to serve and protect is to work in cybersecurity this time from a different frontier and fighting different battles. As a cybersecurity professional, you will be in charge of leading a critical mission, with high pay (an entry-level position can earn an estimated $98,000) in a field where there are hundreds or even thousands of opportunities.  

2- Employer seek veterans for cybersecurity jobs 

Being in the military gave you certain skills and professional qualities that make your profile more attractive than civilians´. The time you served helped you develop key attributes, such as learning agility and problem-solving skills, leadership capabilities, working in high-pressure environments, understanding the risks at stake, and your pursuit of excellence. Remember that a good cybersecurity professional has technical skills and soft-skills that bring a lot of value to the workplace and the relationships with teammates, vendors, and the management team.  

3- GI Bill will cover your education 

Finances can be a major concern for veterans who are trying to reintegrate into civilian life. One of the biggest benefits of having served our country is that there are many funding options for your education. A significant one is the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you qualify for the GI Bill, you can get cybersecurity training with zero out-of-pocket investment depending on the months you actively served. At CyberWarrior Academy, we offer a Cybersecurity Bootcamp that in only 6 months will help you learn all the basic concepts of cybersecurity, earn hands-on experience and get four industry-recognized certifications.  

Having a military background will open the doors to many opportunities in cybersecurity. Not only your experience serves as a reference of your level of commitment to your country, but it shows that you are used to working under pressure, you are trained to fight your adversaries, you understand and are used to working as part of a team, you are resilient, and you understand the importance of security. If you are considering making the transition to civilian life, don’t hesitate to consider cybersecurity.  

Four Tips to Land an Entry-Level Cybersecurity Job

So you’ve made up your mind and decided to get a cybersecurity job. A wise choice considering this is a career with a lot to offer, especially now that remote working is the new normal and organizations (big and small) struggle to create safe remote work environments and keep their data safe. 

At this point, you probably already researched or even enrolled in the best cybersecurity training you can get. You started reading and watching online videos about entering the field. You are considering different career paths and figuring out which one is the best choice for you… and most likely, you are facing the big question: how can I land my first job?

To make it easier for you, we came up with 4 actionable tips that will help you transition more smoothly and understand what you will face when entering the stage of applying for different job opportunities at different organizations.  

1- Become Fluent in Technical Language 

When facing a recruiter for a cybersecurity job, you must show them you understand what you are talking about and dominate the key industry terminology, even the acronyms. It is unacceptable for a candidate not to know what terms like virtual private network, exploit, breach, firewall, etc. Before you start sharing your resume and scheduling interviews, take time to study and develop a deep understanding of the cybersecurity language. 

2- Get Certified 

We have mentioned this in the past; cybersecurity certifications are the perfect way of demonstrating to any employer that you have subject matter knowledge, having them in your resume will help you stand out from your competition, they will show your level of commitment, and, for those who are not yet convinced, many hiring managers consider them as the minimum required qualifications. 

3- Stay Informed of Emerging Trends 

Cybersecurity is a field that is constantly evolving. Part of your job would be to prevent any possible cyber-attacks. To do so, you first need to understand that hackers are always looking for new ways to hack into networks, software, and hardwareYou can learn a lot by reading about the most recent hacks and defense measures. You can use that information when you are having an interview for a cybersecurity job. You can show them that you are a constant learner, committed to investigations, and staying in the know of the latest trends around the world. Comment about some of the sources you regularly read: cybersecurity websites, blogs, authors.

4- Start Working on Your Network 

Just as you would do for any other job, start growing your network related to the field. Look for old classmates or anyone you know who works in the field, connect with them on social media, chat with them, grab a coffee with them (keep social distancing measures, please), and ask them about your doubts about getting started in the field, or any other thing that will help become a successful professional. You could even consider them your mentor. Try reaching out to different people with different roles to talk with them to understand the field better you want to get into it

As a final thought, spend some time working on your resume, so it stands out from the pack. There are many job openings in this field, but recruiters are picky with whom they hire for a security role. Dedicate yourself to work on your technical skills, like certifications and pieces of trainingbut do not forget your soft skills: learn how to communicate non-technical things, how to pay closer attention to details, and how to be more skeptical.  

In Demand Jobs

2021 In Demand Jobs In Cybersecurity

The COVID-19 Pandemic and remote working have demonstrated the growing need for cybersecurity professionals for all organizations (from small businesses to large corporations and government offices). While data reflects a rise in job opportunities, there is also evidence that businesses are looking to hire people that can carry out different cybersecurity roles – sort of a cybersecurity utility infielder. The right candidate must have a combination of experience, technology skills, and business and interpersonal skills.

We researched different recruiting sites to learn what are the most in-demand jobs posted so far this year. We then drew a direct link between those jobs and what skills and training you should get to qualify for these jobs. 

1- Information Security Analyst 

A Security or Cybersecurity Analyst’s main task is to plan and carry out security measures to protect the organization’s computer network and systems. Daily security analysts have to monitor their networks for security breaches and to be able to detect and investigate if an attack passes through their controls.  These highly trained professionals also create and implement a disaster recovery plan and must stay up to date with the latest hacking trends and how to prevent them. 

Most job openings for this role require candidates to have certifications such as CISSP, SANS/GIAC Certification, CISA, CISM, and CompTIA Security+.

According to Cyberseek.org, there are currently 28,758 job openings in the US.

2- Penetration Testers 

Penetration testing professionals help organizations find vulnerabilities and weaknesses in their networks and systems before hackers do. A penetration tester must plan and create penetration methods, scripts, and tests that simulate security breaches. Subsequently, they present their findings, educate others about the risks and impact of any possible attack, and carry the larger responsibility of recommending methods to fix and improve the organization’s security systems.

Most job openings for this role request candidates to have certifications such as CEH, CCNA, CISSP, CISA, CISM, and CompTIA Security+. 

According to Cyberseek.org, there are currently 13,647 job openings in the US. 

3- Cybersecurity Architects 

This senior-level position is responsible for planning, designing, testing, and implementing an organization’s security infrastructure. Anyone in this role needs to have an excellent understanding of the business and organization they are working in and the technology they are using to create an effective security infrastructure. A good cybersecurity architect thinks like a hacker thinks like a business executive, and has an IT executive’s technical skills.

Most job openings for this role request candidates to have certifications such as CISSP, CISM, SANS/GIAC Certification, CISA, ITL.

According to Cyberseek.org, there are currently 5,927 job openings in the US.

4- Cybersecurity Engineers 

Cyber Engineers are in charge of developing and implementing high-tech solutions to protect their organization from cyber-attacks (hacking, ransomware, data breach, etc.) Among their many responsibilities are to constantly monitor systems and software to identify threats and vulnerabilities, troubleshoot problems, respond to any security breach, and enable the appropriate security controls.

Most job openings for this role request candidates to have certifications such as CISSP, CEH, GIAC certifications.

According to Cyberseek.org, there are currently 52,932  job openings in the US. 

Clearly, cybersecurity is a growing field with tens of thousands of job openings. But to succeed in the cybersecurity world, you need to commit yourself to get the right training and experience, keep learning daily, and upskill your interpersonal and business side. 

Are you ready to start?  

5 Signs You Are Made to Work in Cybersecurity

5 Signs You Are Made to Work in Cybersecurity

We’ve talked about the many reasons why it’s a great moment to get started in cybersecurity. But the truth is while anyone can gain the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to work in cybersecurity, it probably isn’t the right fit for some. Certain personality traits and characteristics will help you perform better and understand if the career interests you. So, have you got what it takes to be successful as a cybersecurity professional?

This article reviews the most common traits found in successful cybersecurity professionals to help you understand if this field is for you.

1- Passionate Learner 

Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field. Hackers are always looking/creating new ways to hack into software and hardware, forcing security professionals to improve their protocols and establish new ones to keep their data safe. A good cybersecurity professional is a continual learner and takes advantage of continuing education courses to stay on top of what’s happening in the field to keep his/her skills up to date.

Not everyone enjoys spending after work hours studying and improving on what they are doing daily. However, the best cybersecurity professionals understand that this is key to stand out from the pack and be successful in their careers 

2- Someone who Plans Ahead 

A cybersecurity plan is only as strong as its weakest link. Anyone who works in the field must understand this. To be a successful professional, you need to be always thinking defensively and for anything and everything that could go wrong when creating a security plan or protocol. With this mindset and approach, you will be able to identify vulnerabilities and patch them.

The trick is that it is not just about planning. At the same time, a great cybersecurity professional is someone that can handle last-minute changes. As we mentioned, hackers are constantly improving their attacks and scams, and as organizations fix old vulnerabilities to their data, products, and services, new ones are created.

3- Enjoys Being Challenged 

Working in cybersecurity means expecting unpleasant surprises any hour of any day. As you learn about vulnerabilities and how to patch and fix them, you will suddenly be challenged by a new problem or a scenario where one threat was to take your attention away from the real threat. Is it stressful? Of course, but it is also a highly satisfying job when you successfully defend against an attack. Anyone who wants to work in cybersecurity must understand that challenges are normal. New ways of attack are always being created, new vulnerabilities are being uncovered, and hackers work 24/7 to win the battle over the good guys.

4- An Individual who Masters Communications 

If you believe that cybersecurity is just about working in front of a computer and having no human interaction, then you have watched far too many Hollywood movies and have no idea of what it really means to work in cybersecurity and to be the “go-to guy.” Cybersecurity professionals need to master their communications skills as they are responsible for teaching security best practices to every department in the organization while also ensuring that protocols are followed. Besides, you will need to create reports for non-technical people, such as the management team, explaining security plans and any threat that might have happened. And you have to have strong customer interfacing skills as you will need to talk and negotiate with vendors. 

In other words, a successful cybersecurity professional is one who can explain (verbally and in writing) technical things to non-technical people. You are a leader, and leaders need to communicate to earn individual trust. The power to communicate and convince will be your secret weapon.

5- The Worker who Handles Pressure 

The cybersecurity professional does not panic under pressure or run away from workplace chaos. A good cybersecurity professional understands that they are responsible for protecting the organization’s assets and that hackers are working around the clock to figure out how to make new orchestrated attacks on information technology structures. Hackers don’t take a day off; they don’t work strictly during office hours.

Cybersecurity is constantly in the news. Every day we are reading about a company or organization getting hacked, a new data breach, and the field’s growing talent gap. The best cybersecurity professionals excel under stress and pressure.

 

Getting Started in Cybersecurity with No Experience

Getting Started in Cybersecurity with No Experience

The cybersecurity talent gap is growing every day. We live in a world that demands trained professionals to take care of every organization’s security needs, especially in the COVID-19 “new normal” way of living.

ISC2 revealed that even before 2020 and its challenges (pandemic, social unrest, economic crisis), cybersecurity professionals stepped up and responded to the new need of securing the already growing number of and demand for remote work and social environments, making the work from home policy safe for an organization from cyber-attacks. This trend has expanded to most companies. However, the skills or talent cannot keep pace to ensure every business and government agency can protect its assets. We are entering the new year with a world-wide talent gap between three and four million open cybersecurity jobs

The cybersecurity market is clearly evident. But how can you get into this field with no experience? Can you get hired without knowledge and training? Where do you need to start? 

How to Get Started in Cybersecurity 

The first thing you need to know is that it is not necessary to get a degree in computer science or cybersecurity. Sure they help, but hiring managers are looking elsewhere for a lot of their needed talent. Anyone with the right mindset, the necessary skills, and the commitment can get educated, trained, and certified to start down this career path. Remember that cybersecurity has many sub-fields that go beyond solving technical problems. Certainly, there are tens of thousands of technical jobs. Still, there are also sub-fields with jobs that are a perfect fit for professionals who have customer interface, people, and communication skills. Plus, hiring managers are looking for individuals looking to get into the cybersecurity fields who are constantly learning about technology and new trends in the field.

The right candidate for cybersecurity is the one who is willing and interested in learning how the technology works. Once you develop a deep understanding of how things work, the technical part (hacking and defending) will easily follow. 

Different programs can help you get started. Our Cybersecurity Bootcamp is a quick pathway to enter the cybersecurity workforce. In six months, you will have access to more than 800  hours of learning content, a world-class curriculum (that includes the fundamentals of computer science, networking, information security, penetration testing, packet analysis, firewalls, and more), hands-on labs, industry-recognized certifications, industry experts as instructors, and the potential for an apprenticeship track program.

Other ways of getting started in cybersecurity include: 

  • Get certified: organizations will require certain certifications when hiring for different roles. The best advice we can give you is to get foundational certifications that are building blocks to launch your career and ensure success: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, and Certified Ethical Hacker CEH are the places to start, and CyberWarrior Academy can help you with these.
  • Building a hands-on learning environment: identify the different devices at home connected to your wi-fi and start interacting with them and learn as much as you can from them.
  • Learn from others: you can do searches on YouTube or Google, but don’t stay there. Go further. You want to talk to experts in the field, join online communities, attend conferences (even if they are virtual). 

Cybersecurity is a field that offers different career pathways. Take your time to learn about them and see which one sparks your interest, and then think about which of these matches where you want to be professionally and socially in five to ten years. Thinking it through will be critically helpful when choosing an educational program, certifications, and training. 

Understanding What A Cybersecurity Analyst Actually Do

Understanding What A Cybersecurity Analyst Actually Do

There are a lot of reasons to work in cybersecurity. It is a gratifying job and offers unlimited growth opportunities. Anyone with the right set of skills and training can work in the field.

Many think about working in the field and then quickly dismiss it because they often don’t understand what the work involves. Most people think cybersecurity is a narrow career with few growth opportunities or challenges. The truth is, professionals in this area are widely involved in all areas of a business or agency, and their work impacts the workplace far beyond the IT department.

To increase your workplace and job responsibility awareness, we thought we would take a deeper dive into what a typical day of a cybersecurity analyst looks like, what their goals typically are, and the best places to work (industry and states).  

A Day in the Life of a Cybersecurity Analyst 

A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for protecting a company’s networks and systems from any possible cyber-attack or data breach. The day to day workload of a cybersecurity analyst will vary depending on the industry and size of the business they work in. But in general, these are the main tasks they will be involved in and responsible for:

  1. Monitoring Security Access: to keep their organization safe, they need to be constantly evaluating security best practices, employees’ behaviors online, passwords, badges, log-ins, and others. Among their responsibilities are working with firewalls and security standards.
  2. Executing Security Assessments: they perform vulnerability assessments and risk analysis as part of their ongoing assessments of their security weak spots.  From there, they make necessary changes to keep their networks and systems safe.
  3. Implement or Oversee Security Audits: An internal or external team can perform these audits to have a more detailed understanding of how an organization is doing security controls.
  4. Identifying Security Breaches: beyond being able to detect a security breach or cyber-attack, they are responsible for understanding how it happened and making sure patches are developed to prevent future attacks.
  5. Creating and Updating Disaster Recovery Plans: cybersecurity analysts are responsible for writing what the organization will do to restore their data and information systems after a security breach occurs (cyber-attacks, hardware failure, data leak, ransomware, etc.). The analyst will work with the C-Suite to ensure the executive team understands what went wrong, what fixes are being suggested and why, and ultimately approve the plan. To be sure, customer interface and interpersonal skills are as critical as the technical engineering skills they bring to the job every day.
  6. Working with Vendors: they need to have a trusty relationship with their vendors to ensure their products and services meet regulatory standards. 

The tasks described above give you a better understanding of what a person working in this role has to do daily. This daily routine can be grouped into three main areas1) to keep their organization from any possible attack; 2) to detect and investigate any suspicious activity, and 3) train the entire organization on cybersecurity best practices.

One other thing to keep in mind, security incidents don’t happen strictly during work hours. A cybersecurity analyst needs to know that they will be required to work hours outside a typical 9-to-5 workday. Vendor meetings, working on different investigations, performing security analysis, and other critical tasks can be necessary 24-hours a dayHackers don’t really care whether you are in your office or not. They will attack at any moment, and your technical and engineering skills will be needed to remediate any damage.  

Best Places to Work as a Cybersecurity Analyst 

If you are looking to work as a cybersecurity analyst, you should know there are many work options out there. In the United States, as of January 2021,  there are 2,732 openings on Indeed.com and 6,748 on Glassdoor.comAnd these are only the jobs that have been posted. There are tens of thousands of other jobs that have not been posted because the hiring manager doesn’t know where to look for the necessary talent.  The need for cyber analyst talent is critical.  And companies will pay to meet their needs and find the talent.

According to Zippia.com, the best states to work are: 

  1. New Jersey: it has over 610 jobs, and the average annual salary is $89,605 
  2. Delaware: it has over 50 jobs, and the annual  average salary is $96,660 
  3. New York: it has over 910 jobs, and the annual average salary is $93,059 
  4. Massachusetts: it has over 610 jobs, and the annual average salary is $88,045 
  5. Maryland: it has over 950 jobs, and the annual average salary is $87,689
  6. Virginia: it has over 2080 jobs, and the annual average salary is $81,196
  7. Rhode Island: it has over 70 jobs, and the annual average salary is $78,399
  8. Connecticut: it has over 200 jobs, and the annual average salary is $83,059
  9. Texas: it has over 1,400 jobs, and the annual average salary is $77,948
  10. New Hampshire: it has over 60 jobs, and the annual average salary is $84,762 

Again, these known jobs are just scratching the surface of the total need in these states. 

2020 best states for cybersecurity analyst jobs

So get out there and look at your options. But be careful to choose a company that aligns with what type of environment you want to work in, what industry interests you mostwhat advancement opportunities might existand what professional development opportunities they offer.