Modern technology enhances human ability, and it has continued to evolve over time. I have always been interested and curious about technology because it is challenging and it stimulates the brain to work at its maximum potential. There is no greater human achievement than that of operating at one’s best ability. Today, technology is applied to many of the tasks that people undertake in everyday living, for the purpose of work or personal interest. For example, it is very easy to access important information anytime, anywhere, which has been made possible through broadband Internet technology. Also, technology has made it possible to have quick and easy communication through communication technology tools such as electronic mail, social networking applications, mobile phones, video conferencing, electronic fax and so forth.
I have experience in working with major corporations and a background in technology sales. I have decided to take up a new career as an Information Security Analyst. My main task will be to make sure that the organization’s information systems are secure. Since Information Security Analyst is one of the jobs that have come up as a result of the increasing reliance of firms in computer networks, my skills will be needed to safeguard and counter the increasing incidents of cyber attacks against a company’s networks.
To be able to execute my duties, I will need to develop best practices that all members of the organization can adhere to. It will be my duty to set up security standards to reinforce an organization’s security network and to get rid of, or at least reduce the likelihood of cyber security breaches. Establishing security standards is a highly important task that I will take on as an Information Security Analyst because a lot of critical information is stored online (What does an Information Security Analyst Do?)
One of the crucial tasks that I will perform to protect the security of the network is penetration testing. Here, I will act like a hacker and try to infiltrate the network system the way cyber criminals infiltrate. Based on the outcomes of the penetration testing, I will be able to suggest methods of tightening the company’s cyber security systems and identify vulnerabilities that need to be dealt with (What does an Information Security Analyst Do?)
For me to become an Information Security Analyst, I will first have to successfully complete my high school education and get my diploma. During my high school education, I will work earnestly to attain excellent grades in all of my study courses. I will also start conducting research on current cyber security threats and their effects on public and private organizations. I intend to join the local Silicon Valley ISSA (Information Systems Security Association). The ISSA is a community for international cyber security professionals who are dedicated to enhancing individual growth, managing technology risks, and protecting sensitive information and infrastructure (Information Systems Security Association). Joining this group will give me an opportunity to network with security professionals and start looking out for local internship programs.
After high school, I will apply to universities that offer good quality courses in Information Security. There are numerous programs available because of the increasing need for Information Security Analysts and the increase in the use of technology in organizations to perform day to day tasks. I found various information security certificates available. Employers prefer to work with employees that have the certifications because it is an indication that the holder is knowledgeable in the best practices needed to do their job efficiently. Some of these certificates include general information security certificates such as Information Systems Security Professional. Other certificates are more specified, for example, penetration testing or systems auditing (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Once I start working as an Information Security Analyst, I know that I will be expected to be very organized and to be able to take on more than one task at a time. A typical workday may entail generating reports, researching new cyber threats, answering email, deploying new hardware, writing policies and procedures, and monitoring the current security products to ensure they are performing. I may also attend weekly staff meetings to discuss budgets, performance, and review reports. Since a security breach or cyber attack can take place at any time, I’ll be required to always be prepared to address issues around the clock; this will require carrying a mobile device so I can receive alerts.
Employment of Information Security Analysts is expected to grow 18 % from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all professions (Bureau of Labor Statistics). I also want a new career with job security so that I can work towards securing my future in retirement. Demand for Information Security Analysts is expected to be very high. I can expect to earn a relatively good salary in this position. Information security analysts made a median wage of $88,890 in 2014. They were compensated the best in the metropolitan areas of New York City, San Francisco and San Jose, California (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
With an increase in use of technology comes with an increase in security risks. As such, cyber crimes have been on the rise. Towards the end of 2015, the world had the greatest data breach. 191 million records were exposed (Symantec). Experts predict that, in future, there will more complex cyber security crimes. 55% of Information Security professionals believe that information and cyber security will be a key subject matter in the 2016 election and that the next President will have to answer questions regarding the issue (Micheal). President Barack Obama called for better cyber security in his State of the Union address, urging Congress to pass legislation that will improve computer protection (Swarts). The fact that cyber security is recognized as a matter of national concern shows that it is a sector that will offer numerous career opportunities and that these opportunities will only continue to grow.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. “How to Become an Information Security Analyst.” Education. Web. 12 May 2016
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook. “How to Become an Information Security Analyst.” Job Outlook. Web. 12 May 2016
- Fay, Michael. “White House candidates: Where’s your cybersecurity platform?.” CBSNEWS.com. February 15, 2016. Web. 12 May 2016.
- Information Systems Security Association. ISSA.org. Web. 12 May 2016.
- Swarts, Phillip. “Obama calls for improved cybersecurity in State of the Union.” Washingtontimes.com. January 20, 2015. Web. 12 May 2016.
- Symantec Corporation. Internet Security Threat Report. Volume 21, April 2016. www.symantec.com. Web. 12 May 2016.
- What Does An Information Security Analyst Do? Web. 12 May, 2016.