Your Next Move: Security operations center analyst

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(This article is part of an IT Career News series called “Your Next Move.” These articles take an inside look at the roles related to CompTIA certifications. Each article will include the responsibilities, qualifications, related job titles and salary range for the role.)

If you are good in a crisis and have the drive to scope out technological crimes and cyber incidents, then being a security operations center (SOC) analyst could be the right job for you.

What Is a Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst?

Similar to cybersecurity analysts, SOC analysts are the first responders to cyber-incidents. They report cyberthreats and then implement changes to protect an organization.

Job duties include:

  • Provide threat and vulnerability analysis
  • Investigate, document and report on information security issues and emerging trends
  • Analyze and respond to previously undisclosed software and hardware vulnerabilities
  • Prepare organizational disaster recovery plans

Whereas a cybersecurity analyst may be the only cybersecurity professional at an organization, SOC analysts are generally part of a large security operations team. The SOC analyst role is the last line of defense against cybercriminals. Without them, hackers and other cyber criminals may never be found.

SOC analysts work alongside with cybersecurity engineers and security managers and most likely report to a chief information security officer (CISO).

A SOC analyst must have a steady and unshakable eye for detail, as they have to monitor many things at once. They must watch and respond to a number of threats, and there may be different levels of responsibilities depending on how big the company is and how many SOC analyst’s it employs. From monitoring to reacting, a SOC analyst’s day is rarely the same from one to the next.

How to Become a Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst

Most companies hiring a SOC analyst are looking for someone with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, cybersecurity or a related field. Many SOC analysts previously worked as network or systems administrators.

A certification like CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) can help you gain the skills you need to become a SOC analyst. Check out the CompTIA Career Roadmap to see what other certifications relate to cybersecurity jobs.

The Details

SOC Analyst Salary Range$50,000 to $75,000, with a median annual wage of $72,000 (Burning Glass Technologies)

Job Titles Related to SOC Analyst

  • Threat intelligence analyst
  • Vulnerability analyst
  • Cybersecurity analyst
  • Information security analyst or administrator
  • Security administrator

(This post originally appeared on the CompTIA IT Careers blog, which can be viewed here).

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