CAREER DEVELOPMENT / DEC. 21, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Top 10 Skills Needed for a Job in Information Security Analysis

The job of someone working in information security analysis is to defend a company’s computer systems against a range of threats. They will conduct audits of the company’s current security features and analyse what they can do to either improve these features or to maintain these features. It’s a fast growing industry as the number of major cyber-attacks increases. This also means the potential for bigger salaries.

If you want to get into this growing industry, you need the right skills. We’re going to list the top 10 skills you need to get a job in this field.

#1 Reading Comprehension

You’ll be doing a lot of reading and a lot of document inspection tasks. This means you must have a high level of reading comprehension. You have to quickly understand a range of technical terms and phrases.

#2 Critical Thinking

Part of your job is to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of certain security solutions. Critical thinking plays a huge role in being able to weigh up the pros and cons and determine the best course of action.

#3 Problem Solving

Information security analysis is all about problem solving. You’ll have to identify problems and figure out how to solve them using the limited information available to you. You’ll also need to weigh up the merits of each solution to ensure you preserve the integrity of a company’s systems.

#4 Speaking

To put it simply, you will have to explain yourself to your boss. You have to explain to non-technical personnel what you’re doing and what the problems are. It’s your job to breakdown complex information into simple sentences that anyone can understand.

#5 An Ability to Listen

The chances are you’ll work with others as part of a team. To preserve a positive work environment, and increase your chances of success, you have to listen to what others say. You should aim to listen twice as much as you speak so you can take in the maximum amount of information.

 #6 Writing

Another method of communication you’ll have to master is the written word. You need to write up reports and keep accurate records so you can manage similar issues going forward. Most companies demand regular reports throughout the year.

 #7 Making a Decision

The best workers in the industry know when to take decisions. They know how to be decisive and how to take calculated risks. This all comes back to having excellent critical thinking skills. At the same time, it’s also about the courage to make a decision.

#8 Time Management

Managing your time is important for everything. The general efficiency and productivity of your team depends entirely on your ability to manage your time effectively. This is especially true if you’re managing a team of experts.

#9 Systems Analysis

You require an intimate knowledge of the systems you’re working with. You should know how the system works and how different changes can influence how it reacts. To solve a problem with the system, you have to understand everything about how it works.

#10 Active Learning

By far the most important skill is active learning. Active learning means you’re constantly widening your breadth of knowledge. You’re always searching for new threats and new solutions. You have to keep on top of things because threats are constantly evolving. If you take six months off, you could find half of your knowledge to be obsolete. It’s essential that you’re always dedicating time to additional training.

Do you think you have what it takes to work in information security analysis? If you have the 10 skills listed above it might just be the right career for you.

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