According to a study sponsored by IBM Security, the average data breach costs a U.S. company $7.9 million and takes 196 days to detect. With numbers like that, it’s clear why the jobs for information security analysts is expected to grow by 28 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information security skills are at a premium, and employers are willing to pay a high price to retain top talent.
Information security analysts work to secure systems and mitigate threats across a full spectrum of applications. More than 16 million Americans were the victim of identity theft in 2017, amounting to nearly $17 billion in financial damage, according to research firm Javelin. Meanwhile, nation-state cyber espionage is one of the most contested front-lines of geopolitics, and the 2019 United States budget accordingly earmarked $15 billion for cybersecurity-related activities, a 4 percent increase over the previous year.
Information security as a discipline stretches across every connected device and application, and the need for skilled talent is dire. Those looking to build their skills in an in-demand, high-reward industry should read on to learn more about how to get the proper training to become an information security analyst.
Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity at Purdue Global University
Purdue Global University’s online bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity gives students the foundational skills they need to prepare for industry certifications. It also provides them with options to pursue an internship or integrate with the school’s master’s degrees in information technology or cybersecurity management.
Course topics in the cybersecurity program include certified ethical hacking, network security concepts, computer forensics, Linux security, routing and switching, intrusion detection and incident response, and cybersecurity policies. The program consists of 180 credits and may be completed entirely online.
Master of Science in Cybersecurity Operations and Leadership at the University of San Diego
USD’s master’s program focuses on three learning outcomes: cybersecurity strategy (how to help an organization to prepare for operations in a contested environment), cybersecurity business services (acquisition, procurement, policy, HR, and budgeting), and cybersecurity management (decision-making, team-building, and other human factors).
Students take courses in applied cryptography, secure systems architecture, cybersecurity risk management, cybersecurity operational policy, network design, vulnerability detection, cyber intelligence, and computer network forensics and incident response. The program consists of 31 credits.
Certificate in Cybersecurity at Harvard VPAL
Harvard University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) offers an online certificate program in cybersecurity that teaches students about the different types of cyber attacks and how to develop a mitigation strategy for each.
Convened by a former Pentagon chief of staff and director of the Defending Digital Democracy Project, the program is aimed at tech specialists pursuing leadership roles and security experts looking to upskill and stay current with emerging trends. Modules cover cybersecurity risk as a business risk, threat identification, the role of leadership in managing cyber risk, incident response and accountability, and designing and implementing a mitigation strategy. The program consists of eight-course modules, which may be completed entirely online.
Information security is a and rapidly evolving field for digital natives, which makes it a natural fit for online, do-it-yourself skill-building. Motivated learners can find a plethora of resources on the subject, from the niche to the general.
Whether you’re looking to upskill and gain industry certifications, or you’re just curious about what’s out there, consider checking out some of the DIY resources on offer below.
A monthly podcast hosted by Christopher Glyer and Nick Carr of FireEye, a cybersecurity firm, “State of the Hack” explores cybersecurity trends and current events in the space. They go over recent cases of cyber attacks, with an in-depth analysis and investigation into who committed an attack and how. They also highlight new techniques used to profile victims and bring in industry experts to discuss the current challenges and best practices in information security. Covering everything from nation-state espionage to lessons learned from critical breaches, “State of the Hack” brings listeners up to speed on the rapidly evolving landscape of information security.
The InfoSec Institute was founded in 1998 with the purpose of offering the best possible training in information security. Its Security+ boot camp does just that. The Security+ boot camp teaches students about information security theory through hands-on exercises and prepares them to pass the CompTIA Security+ exam—a valuable first credential in an information security analyst’s career.
The courses, much like the exam, cover network security, compliance, operational security, threats, vulnerabilities, data, host security, access control, identity management, and cryptography. The five-day boot camp costs $3,057 and is targeted at IT professionals who are looking to build a foundational knowledge of security topics. The boot camp may be completed online or at one of several host locations.
Cybrary’s online learning platform acts as an ecosystem for more than 1.8 million IT and cybersecurity professionals to learn, teach, network, and advance. Launched in 2015, it has already made an impact. Employees from most Fortune 1000 companies have used or currently use Cybrary to develop their skills and careers.
Cybrary offers MOOCs at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level. What started as 18 offerings has exploded to more than 400 entirely online and free courses. On top of its course offerings, Cybrary also provides practice tests, assessments, apps, forums, job listings, micro-certifications, and even business-level solutions.