Hiring a cybersecurity analyst? Need to know how and where to find the best candidates? Here is a comprehensive guide to finding the best cybersecurity analysts. Read on!
Let’s answer the primary question “ What does a cyber security analyst do” before getting into further details. A cyber security analyst holds the responsibility for protecting a company’s network and systems from potential threats. It involves implementing threat protection measures and controls to keep the security in check.
With the increase in cyber threats, the demand for cybersecurity analysts is rising. The best place to find a good cybersecurity analyst is online job portals, technical blogs, and sites, etc. This article takes you through the process to hire the best talent, what to look for, recruitment tools, and what cyber security analyst interview questions to ask.
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Hiring market for freelance cybersecurity analyst
The U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), predicts a growth of 37% in the employment of cybersecurity professionals from 2012- 2022. The rate is significantly higher than the average of other occupations in different industrial domains. The key reason behind the growth is increasing online presence and with that the risk of potential cyber-attacks and threats.
Cybersecurity threats are on the rise and everyone who has an online presence whether it is an individual or a company comes under the risk of being attacked by hackers and viruses. This has made cybersecurity professionals indispensable and the need for security roles will be growing in the foreseeable future.
In 2019, (ISC)^2 predicted the cybersecurity workforce needs to be increased by 62% to meet the growing demand. Information security analyst salary ranges from $128,640 per year to $75,450 per year. Information security analyst companies are willing to pay higher salary packages to recruit the best cybersecurity workers for their projects.
One of the top cybersecurity jobs is that of an information security analyst. The best countries to hire cybersecurity professionals are the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Lithuania, etc.
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Things to note while hiring cybersecurity analyst
Here are few things to note while hiring a cybersecurity analyst,
- Relevant Experience – The number of years of experience a candidate has spent in the field of cybersecurity is relevant to notice while hiring a cybersecurity analyst.
- Certifications – Information security analyst degree online and offline along with related certifications help in assessing technical skills.
- Educational Background – A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or related fields is desirable but not mandatory to get a job in this field.
- Critical decision-making skills – See if the candidate is capable of deciding at the time of crisis quickly.
- Communication skills – Information security analyst requirements include good oral and written communication skills.
- Technical skills – A hands-on experience in the field of cybersecurity and good knowledge of technical skills should be noticed while hiring.
- Understanding of cybersecurity – Information security analyst definition includes a sound understanding of the field of cybersecurity.
- Network Analysis tool knowledge – A cybersecurity analyst needs to be familiar with network analysis tools used in day-to-day activities.
- Knowledge of Programming – Experience in coding languages such as Java, C++, Python is highly desirable.
- Curiosity to learn – Curiosity to learn new things and staying up to date with the latest technologies is a crucial part of the information security analyst description.
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Qualifications of best cybersecurity analysts
Here are the qualifications of the best cybersecurity analysts,
- A bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity, information technology, etc. – A four years bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a related field is welcomed but not mandatory. Many universities such as the University of London, London School of Economics and Political Science, etc. provide information security analyst education to meet the rising demand for cyber security data analyst.
- Get an internship to gain experience in the field of security or computer science – Complete an internship while studying for your degree to gain some experience. An internship helps you gain industry connections, get work experience, learn first-hand by working along with experts.
- Enroll in cyber security analyst certification courses – Certifications are offered by several information security analyst schools. It helps you stand out from the crowd and negotiate a higher salary package. Many employers cover the cost of certification for their employers. Few popular certifications are,
- Certified Ethical Hacker
- CompTIA Security+
- Certified Information Security Manager
- Pursue an entry-level position in IT or security – Get an entry-level job in the IT or security field as a junior cyber security analyst. Gain entry level information security analyst should have to get closer to your career goals.
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Skills and qualities to look for in cybersecurity analyst
The recruiter should look for the following Cyber security analyst skills to check the technical knowledge of the candidate,
- Reverse Engineering – Reverse engineering includes disassembling codes and software evaluation to patch bugs.
- Application Design – Information security analyst duties include creating secure interfaces and architectures within applications.
- Firewall Administration – Security professionals must know how to install and maintain firewalls to filter inbound traffic.
- An Understanding of Hacking – A Thorough understanding of hacking to be able to predict the hacker’s mindset.
- Fundamental Computer Forensic Skills – Computer forensics aids in the prevention of threats and risks by collecting data, analyzing it, and reporting.
Below information security analyst skills help in judging the behavior of an applicant,
- Attention to Detail – A detail-oriented personality helps in monitoring the security system, noticing minor changes, and assessing any potential risks.
- Communication Skills – Cyber security risk analyst professionals often have to educate users regarding the importance of cybersecurity and how to protect their data.
- Creativity – A creative approach toward problems is desirable in an information security risk analyst to prevent cyber attacks.
- Problem-solving Skills – Cyber security analyst requirements include great problem-solving skills to resolve issues quickly.
- Desire to Learn – Best security professionals are always looking to learn new information related to security software developments.
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Certifications to look for in cybersecurity analyst
Here is a list of the top 5 information security analyst certifications,
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) – Certified Ethical Hacker is a course that teaches you to think and act like a hacker. Professionals completing this course have plenty of positions to choose from, the most famous being Penetration testing.
- Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) – Certified Information System Security Professional is another popular general cybersecurity certification. This certification is suitable for people with three to five years of experience.
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) – An experience of a minimum of five years is required to apply for CISM certification. Many certification holders earn an average of $160,000 per year. It is one of the most popular cyber security analyst certifications available in the market.
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) – CISA certification needs a minimum of 5 years of experience to apply and has a focus on information auditing. It is a globally recognized certification required for high-level IS Audit, assurance, and control positions.
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Security – CCNA certification validates that you have the skills and knowledge to protect Cisco networks. It is a strong associate-level certification that builds the foundation for entry-level job roles such as junior information security analyst, a Jr cyber security analyst.
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Cybersecurity analyst rate per hour
The rate of cybersecurity analysts depends on several factors such as education, certification, relevant experience in the field, additional skills, job location, industry, etc. According to Salary, the starting salary for cyber security analyst can be as low as $28 and typically goes up to $34.
The average hourly wage in the U.S for an information security analyst is $31 as of December 28, 2020. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), cyber security analyst entry level salary is approximately $62,000 annually. The salary increases as the number of years of experience grow.
A senior information security analyst salary is around $94K annually. Out of all the locations, Europe has the maximum number of job openings of almost half a million jobs coming up and Asia has nearly 2 million jobs coming up. The average salary for cybersecurity analysts across Europe ranges from $49863 to $77164 annually.
Asia has comparatively lower prices with an approx salary of $6602. Most companies open an offshore development center in Asia to get benefited from the cheap workforce available in countries like India, China, the Philippines, etc. This labor comes at a lower price but doesn’t compromise with talent and skills.
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Places to find best cybersecurity analyst
Top places to find the best cybersecurity analyst for full-time or part-time roles,
- Indeed is an American worldwide employment website.
- unremot.com gives access to a global workforce of Cybersecurity workers.
- CareerBuilder has the largest market share among other employment websites in the U.S.
- HackerEarth fulfills the technical needs of companies by assessing candidates.
- StackOverFlow helps you gain access to security professionals globally.
- TechFetch helps IT companies to hire the best talent for their projects.
- LinkedIn has millions of professionals registered.
- Upwork is one of the largest online job boards for freelancers.
- Dice is the ideal place to search and hire cybersecurity professionals.
- Toptal helps you in hiring an individual professional on a part-time or full-time basis.
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Top 10 companies hiring cybersecurity analyst and salaries
The top 10 companies hiring cybersecurity analyst and salaries,
- Symantec – Symantec is an American software company that provides security software and services. Cyber security analyst salary is $147,228 annually.
- Check Point Software Technologies Ltd – It is a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions to governments and corporate enterprises globally. The salary for Information systems security analyst salary is $110,982
- Herjavec Group – Hervajec group is a global cybersecurity firm that offers protection to minimize cyber-attacks and threats. The salary for Information system security analyst salary averages at $87,241 annually.
- Rapid 7 – Rapid7 provides security data and analytics solutions enabling an active approach to cybersecurity. The salary for Security Consultant is $115,524
- FireEye – Fireeye has been involved in the detection and prevention of cyberattacks. The salary for Staff Software Engineer is $156,650
- Accenture – Accenture is an American-Irish multinational professional services company. The salary for an Associate Information Security Analyst is $116,556
- Dell – Dell is a computer technology company offering several cybersecurity jobs. The salary for a security professional is $50050.
- Northrup Grumman – Northup Grumman is a global aerospace and defense technology company. The salary for a Senior Information security analyst is $48,619.
- McAfee – McAfee is an American global computer security software company. The salary for information security analyst is $105,131.
- Palo Alto – Palo alto is a cybersecurity company that gives an average information systems security analyst salary of $120,367 per year.
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Steps involved in hiring best cybersecurity analyst
These are the steps involved in hiring the best cybersecurity analyst for your project,
- Write a detailed and enticing job description – A good cyber security analyst job description mentions what information security analyst roles and responsibilities does the job entails, minimum requirements expected from the candidate, and information about why one should choose to work in your company.
- Post your job opening on multiple sites – Once your job description is ready, post it on multiple job portals, tech job boards to reach maximum people.
- Shortlist candidates by a screening process – Screen candidates based on their resume manually or by using resume parsing tools. Another way of doing this is to send a small questionnaire to candidates asking for relevant details based on which you can shortlist applicants.
- Conduct a Telephonic interview – A telephonic interview is a better and less time-consuming method to get to know a candidate. A phone conversation should be brief and to verify the information sent earlier.
- Conduct in-person interviews – Call candidates for in-person interviews and ask closed and open-ended questions to test their technical knowledge and soft skills.
- Make the final offer – Information security analysts are highly in demand these days and get multiple offers from different companies. Once you have your desired candidate make sure to extend a final offer.
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Top 10 interview questions for cybersecurity analyst
The top 10 interview questions for cybersecurity analyst,
1. How does one differentiate between risk, vulnerability, and threat in-network?
Rationale: This a basic warmup question that is asked to make the candidate comfortable and set the tone of the interview.
Answer: See if the candidate can differentiate between the three terms by giving technical definitions.
2. What do you know about cybersecurity frameworks?
Rationale: As a cybersecurity analyst, one should be familiar with frameworks that need to be implemented and followed in secure environments.
Answer: The candidate should be able to tell some of the common cybersecurity frameworks in the U.S such as PCI – DSS, CIS Critical Security Controls, ISO 27001/27002, NIST Cybersecurity Framework.
3. What do you understand about the CIA triad?
Rationale: CIA triad is a fundamental concept behind cybersecurity and a candidate should be aware of the theory behind the work.
Answer: An experienced cybersecurity professional should be able to explain the three aspects of the CIA triad, confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
4. Please explain SSL encryption?
Rationale: Helps recruiter to see if the candidate understands SSL encryption and user security.
Answer: A candidate should be able to tell what SSL encryption is, where it is implemented, and how important it is in a security system.
5. What are salted hashes?
Rationale: To check if the candidate understands how passwords are stored which is useful in an audit or penetration testing.
Answer: Salt is just random-data generated when a computer system receives a new password. Hash is a one-way cryptographic function.
6. What is a DDOS attack? What steps will you take to mitigate the risk?
Rationale: Organizations with online websites are required to know how to protect these systems from DDOS attacks.
Answer: DDOS stands for distributed denial of service. The attack uses a large number of users sending fake requests to the server to flood it.
7. Why do you need DNS monitoring?
Rationale: Helps to know what tools and techniques would the candidate use to troubleshoot and combat connectivity problems.
Answer: DNS monitoring is a way to test connectivity between your local connections and the rest of the internet.
8. Where do you get the latest cybersecurity information to stay updated?
Rationale: The questions help to assess a candidate’s interest and knowledge in cybersecurity.
Answer: Candidates should be able to tell their favorite sites and blog posts to get the latest information and what do they find enjoyable on these sites.
9. Explain what you understand about SSL and TLS?
Rationale: It is a trick question to throw a candidate off-guard. Both SSL and TSL are used interchangeably.
Answer: SSL was invented in the mid-1990s to secure information security. TSL is mostly obsolete these days with SSL used everywhere these days.
10. How would you define weak information security?
Rationale: The interviewer wants to see if you are aware of the importance of user compliance in security policies.
Answer: Information security is considered weak when it cannot meet the requirements set out by the organization.
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Top 10 tools to use while hiring cybersecurity analyst
These are the top 10 tools to use while hiring cybersecurity analyst which will make the recruitment process easier,
- Job Boards – Online job portals such as Freelancer, Upwork are some of the best places to hire your next employee.
- Assessment Tools – Assessment tools like HackerRank, Pymetrics help in conducting aptitude tests.
- Application Tracking Systems – A tool to track applications and collect data from potential candidates.
- Professional Social Media Platforms – Platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter are a great source of finding the best talent.
- Job Description Tools – Tools like Textio help in writing a captivating information security analyst job description essential while hiring new employees.
- Onboarding Tools – Once a person is selected for the role the onboarding process starts which can be efficiently handled by tools such as BambooHr, Click Boarding, etc.
- Background Verification Tools – It is advisable to run a background verification using tools like GoodHire, Intelifi, Sterling, etc.
- Audio and Video Conferencing Softwares – Tools such as Zoom, Skype, GoogleMeet, Microsoft teams, etc are useful to take interviews remotely.
- AI and Chatbots – Artificial Intelligence and chatbots such as Zoom, Ideal are useful to shortlist candidates.
- Interview Scheduling Tools – Tools like Calendly are a great way to schedule interviews with the candidate by looking at their free time slots in the calendar.
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Dos and donts while hiring cybersecurity analyst
A recruiter needs to know the dos and don’ts while hiring a cybersecurity analyst to recruit only the best and most effective employees who would be beneficial to your company’s growth. We have listed a few dos below,
- Understand the roles and responsibilities expected from the candidate
- Ask relevant information security analyst interview questions.
- Shortlist candidates before calling candidates for in-person interviews.
- Have a realistic budget in mind.
- State your company’s vision and objective clearly.
- Make your expectations very clear.
- Conduct a background verification check.
- Cross-check references are given by the applicant
- Recruit someone with excellent communication skills.
- Verify the details provided in the resume.
Donts are as follows,
- Never have unprofessional behavior during interviews.
- Do not recruit a person with a lack of experience for a crucial task.
- Do not reject candidates based on any kind of prejudice.
- The price must not be the determining factor while hiring.
- The job description should not be stated wrongly.
- Health and insurance benefits should not be conveyed incorrectly.
- Avoid hiring candidates with limited knowledge of cybersecurity.
- Do not hire an employee who refuses to sign an NDA for sensitive data.
- Do not hire if the background verification fails.
- Do not merge multiple roles into one.
How do I hire cybersecurity experts?
A good job description is essential for hiring cyber security business analyst roles for your company. Post the job opening in multiple portals to reach more people. Ask relevant questions to shortlist candidates for the role. Information security analyst colleges are great to conduct a recruitment drive.
How much does a cybersecurity analyst charge per hour?
As of 2021, the hourly salary of a cybersecurity consultant is $55.56 per hour in the United States. Entry-level cyber security analyst salary typically falls between the range of $48 – $67 per hour. The hourly rate can vary depending on several factors such as education, experience, certification, skills, etc.
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