With the rapid development of technology and the widespread increase of digital literacy in the past decade, most people can now access the Internet from almost anywhere. In fact, according to a 2021 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 31% of adults say they are online “almost constantly” throughout the day. Although computers have made life easier and information more accessible, there is a growing concern that often lurks in the dark corners of the Internet. Cyberattacks, or malicious attempts to destroy a computer network or system, have increased in frequency and sophistication over the years. The consequences of a cyberattack on an organization can be dire, resulting in major financial loss or irreparable reputational damage.
It’s not enough for organization to merely have a good firewall in place or standard data encryption policy. The best hackers can find and exploit vulnerabilities. Even more so, it is up to the employees of an organization to detect phishing and other malware attempts if and when they see them. This is where cyber security analysts are so important.
What Does a Cyber Security Analyst Do?
Cyber security analysts have various day-to-day responsibilities, as well as more long-term strategic goals to improve the internal digital resiliency of an organization. Cyber security analysts devise and execute security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Cyber security analysts also:
- Monitor their organization’s networks for security breaches and investigate a violation when one occurs
- Help computer users within the organization install and run security software to protect sensitive information and educate employees on best security practices to follow.
- Conduct simulated attack penetration testing to expose system vulnerabilities and document all incidents of security breaching
- Keep up to date on the latest information technology security trends and cyberattack methods
- Develop and implement security standards based on industry knowledge
Cyber security analysts are incredibly valuable, even up to the most senior levels of management, as they protect the sensitive information and data of the entire company. Cyber security analysts are also involved in creating a disaster recovery plan for their organization, which includes properly restoring IT systems after a system malfunction or outlining a plan of counterattack in the case of a security breach.
Where Can You Learn to Become a Cyber Security Analyst?
The easiest (and perhaps fastest) way to scale your cyber security knowledge and get closer to becoming a certified analyst is to enroll in a program at a vocational school. These programs are taught by cyber security professionals and apply practical learnings to real-world, disaster-simulated scenarios.
What Do You Learn During a Cyber Security Program?
While cyber security programs often cover many topics, these courses are included within AA in cybersecurity program:
Courses in IT Fundamentals (CompTIA A+)
CompTIA IT Fundamentals and CompTIA A+ are two core courses that offer an introduction to basic IT knowledge and skills. CompTIA IT Fundamentals will give a foundational knowledge of common software applications and other IT systems. You will learn basic IT concepts and terminology, including the value of data analyzation and troubleshooting.
The course will also cover the basics of security and the importance of securing devices, including understanding confidentiality industry standards. You will then take a CompTIA ITF+ exam. Then, after receiving a foundational certification, you can move on to CompTIA A+. A CompTIA A+ certification is the IT industry standard of digital competency. This course outlines the different types of networks and connections, how to identify and protect against security vulnerabilities, and software troubleshooting. You will also learn how to compare and contrast cloud computing concepts and virtualization, as well as take a deeper dive into the types of networks and connections within IT.
Networking Fundamentals (CompTIA Network+)
The CompTIA Network+ course builds upon previously learned technical skills and further dives into the basics of diagnosing, configuring, and managing computer networks. This course also covers how to support networks on any platforms and helps you with IT career advancement. You will also learn about routing technologies and networking devices, as well as how to deploy ethernet solutions.
Cybersecurity Fundamentals (CompTIA Security+)
At the end of this course, you will receive a certification validating baseline knowledge and skills within IT security. This certification signals to top organizations and employers that you have received hands-on cyber security skills, including an understanding of how to assess the security framework of an enterprise environment, how to regularly monitor and secure hybrid environments and how to analyze, respond to and document security events. This course will also expand on administering different types of security, including identity, access management, and basic cryptography. Having a certification in this course will set you apart from others in your field and open the door to new cyber and IT security careers.
Linux Fundamentals for Cybersecurity (CompTIA Linux+)
This internationally recognized course outlines the fundamentals of using Linux. Many competitive organizations use Linux for their cybersecurity and web administration efforts. You will learn how best practices for permission and authentication differ on Linux versus other systems. You’ll also learn specific Linux diagnostic analyzation, automation, scripting and hardware and system configuration. A certification in this course will make you more attractive to IT companies, since not all analysts understand Linux systems and how to operate and maintain them.
Cybersecurity Operations – Incident Response and Digital Forensics (CompTIA CySA+)
The CompTIA CySA+ IT workforce certification course helps you apply behavioral analytic skills to identifying and responding to security threats and vulnerabilities. In addition, you will learn how to analyze data from regular security monitoring activities and how to implement configuration changes to improve threat intelligence.
Developing Cybersecurity Programs and Policies
In this course, you will learn how to develop and implement best practice security operations and architectures for organizations. You will also dive into risk and compliance according to government policies, understanding how to test an organization’s resiliency against certified metrics.
Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing (CompTIA PenTest+)
The CompTIA PenTest+ is a foundational course for IT professionals that involves penetration tests and overseeing vulnerability management at an organization. You will learn how to perform vulnerability scanning and reconnaissance to identify weak security spots before they’re exposed, as well as how to document the results of these exercises. You will also learn how to perform network, wireless, application-based and cloud technology attacks and how to report and recommend appropriate remediation.
Network Defense and Countermeasures
This course will outline how to regularly monitor and optimize computer networks for the best defense against counterattacks, as well as how to troubleshoot common connectivity and software issues to keep the network resilient.
Want to Learn More?
The Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity training program is designed to teach you the skills for entry-level employment in the Cybersecurity industry. The Cybersecurity training program prepares and supports you in obtaining several certifications in support of your cybersecurity career including CompTIA’s A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Pentest, & CySA+.
The mission of Peloton College is to be the premier provider of hands-on training and education by providing students and graduates with the necessary skills to secure occupational careers. Contact us today to learn more.