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What Does an Internet Security Analyst Do?

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  • Written By: K. Kinsella
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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An internet security analyst is responsible for protecting computer networks and communications systems from various types of cyber based attacks. National governments, as well as private companies, employ college graduates in internet security analyst jobs. People involved in these roles are responsible for both detecting breaches of security and for taking steps to prevent such incidents from occurring.

Employers tend to hire graduates who have completed degree courses in subjects such as computer science or programming as analysts. Since people employed in these roles are responsible for developing cutting-edge technology, many firms prefer to hire applicants with postgraduate degrees rather than those who have only completed undergraduate level courses. Aside from academic credentials, many employers require applicants for these jobs to have several years of prior work experience as network analysts, programmers or technicians since people employed in these jobs are exposed to the latest trends and technologies in the information technology sector.

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In many instances, an internet security analyst is tasked with protecting websites and the online assets of a particular firm or government department. The analyst must implement basic security procedures such as the installation of encryption devices and the use of firewalls to block outside parties from gaining access to sensitive information. Aside from preventing outside parties from accessing company data, the internet security analyst must ensure that information the company gathers about consumers such as credit card numbers cannot be accessed by unauthorized parties. Therefore, a single company website may have several layers of security including password encryption and mainframe security programs to safeguard this data.

The development of new technologies means that internet based security systems often become obsolete within a short period of time. Therefore, an internet security analyst may have to attend regular training sessions and seminars during which government agencies and information technology (IT) firms share information about the kinds of viruses, malware and hacking devices that unscrupulous individuals have been using to illegally access online data. Analysts are often responsible for acquiring new software and patches to address these activities while in other instances, these individuals are also tasked with creating new programs to counteract security threats as and when those arise.

While many analysts are concerned with protecting the interests of a particular firm, others are responsible for protecting large groups of consumers and businesses. In some nations, government agencies employ people in these roles to alert the public about the activities of internet hackers and parties that steal online datar to commit identity theft. Many network operators provide a similar service for the firm's clients. Therefore, aside from addressing internet based security threats, analysts are sometimes responsible for producing reports on these high-tech problems in language that can easily be understood by the average consumer.

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