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The Critical Role Played By Cyber Security Analysts in Safeguarding Digital Landscapes

In today’s interconnected world, there is little that isn’t linked to the internet. Just about everything we do – from communicating with others to banking, investing, education, shopping, entertainment, and countless other everyday tasks – is internet-based.

Cyber Security

Our reliance on digital interconnectivity has made cyber security a crucial element in every transaction we undertake online. The threats are real, and there is plenty of data to back them up. In 2023 alone, more than eight billion records were breached. It is big business for hackers; the average data breach costs about $4.35 million, and every incident of ransomware recovery costs about $2 million. 

These are good times for cybersecurity analysts. They are in high demand because they have the skills and experience not just to prevent data breaches but to deal with them when they occur. For anyone looking to establish a solid and well-paying career in IT, cyber security analysis is a good way to go.

What is a cyber security analyst, and what does it take to become one?

A cyber security analyst is a professional whose job it is to protect organizational assets, data, and sensitive information from cyber threats. Their role is to secure systems and stay ahead of hackers by using the latest security protocols in the industry. 

The scope of their duties can vary depending on where they work, but their primary responsibility is to make sure that business and organizational systems remain secure at all times. 

There are several courses one can study to become a cyber security analyst, including a bachelor’s degree in computer science or any other IT-related degree that covers this particular specialization. 

Those who want to climb to the top of the career ladder often undertake an Online Masters Cybersecurity course from a reputable institution, such as the one offered by St. Bonaventure University. Their course teaches learners how to protect both businesses and individuals from cyber threats, data theft, and other intrusions that leave them vulnerable. It also covers topics like cloud security, machine learning and AI, software design, penetration testing, and data mining. All modules are offered online, offering students increased flexibility and accessibility.

By the time they qualify, they are security professionals who are in high demand, and they can work for big corporations and small businesses or set up their own consulting business. 

For anyone planning to venture into cybersecurity as a career, it is important to understand the role that is played by these professionals in safeguarding the digital landscape. How do they contribute to ensuring that systems, data, and information are safe? 

The role of cyber security analysts in securing the digital landscape

As mentioned earlier, the job description of a cybersecurity expert may vary depending on where they work, but some responsibilities are common to all of them. 

They monitor and analyze security systems

This is one of the fundamental responsibilities of a cybersecurity analyst, and it is critical because it helps them catch threats before they compromise networks. 

Continuous monitoring involves scrutinizing network traffic, identifying anomalies and potential threats, and detecting patterns that may indicate a potential intrusion. 

Security analysts are equipped with specially-designed software that helps them identify malicious threats and suspicious activity and stop them before they can do any harm. 

It is the job of the cyber security analyst to study logs and conduct audits and any other elements that may point to malicious intrusion. 

System monitoring is a continuous task because malicious actors do not stop; they are at work all the time, and even a little lapse in monitoring can be exploited to infiltrate a network. 

The cyber security analyst creates a checklist that covers all areas that can potentially be infiltrated and, depending on the sort of system that’s in place, decides how often he would like to audit the network. In some organizations, security analysts do daily audits, and in others they may audit every few days or once a week.

They prevent and mitigate cyber threats

When these professionals identify a potential threat, it is their responsibility to make sure that they stop it in its tracks. Many systems are infiltrated because malicious action isn’t dealt with right away. The threat gets into the network and multiplies and can lead to huge losses. 

The job of the cyber security analyst is to make sure that threats are stopped as soon as they are identified. They also trace the source of the malicious activity and the entry point into the system, putting necessary measures in place to ensure that they do not occur again in the future. 

They are on hand to respond when intrusions occur

Even the most secure networks can get breached, and it is the job of the cyber security expert to respond to those hacks in a timely and effective way. 

They should have a response plan in place so that when intrusions occur they know exactly what steps they ought to take. They should also have a well-crafted response plan for employees so that everyone plays their part in stopping the breach and dealing with any resulting damage. 

It is surprising that even with all the awareness of the danger of cyber threats, very few companies have response plans in place to deal with intrusions should they occur. According to one source, more than 60% of the businesses in America do not have a concrete plan that they can reach for in the event of a data hack. 

They bury their heads in the sand and hope that it will not happen to them, and if it does, they will deal with it then. This sort of laissez-faire approach can lead to massive losses when one takes into account that there is a hack every 15 seconds or so. For businesses that haven’t been affected yet, it is only a matter of time before they have to deal with a security breach that could lead to the loss of millions of dollars. 

A basic data security incident response plan includes basic steps like:

Putting together an incident response team and ensuring that each person is aware of their responsibilities

Backing up data regularly so that all is not lost in case of a breach

Outlining the steps that are necessary to continuously monitor the system

Outlining the contingency plans the IT team should take immediately after a breach is detected

Carrying out simulations to test the system, teaching employees what they should do if they sense a breach, and outlining the possible eventualities and how they should be handled

Checking for weaknesses and also how often the system should be updated

Listing all stakeholders and their role in the event of a breach. If suppliers are connected to the IT network, for example, they will be potentially affected in case of a breach, and they ought to know the steps they will take to protect themselves. 

They develop security plans and protocols

This is a little different from an incident response protocol because it is broader and deals with all network security matters. It is a detailed document that outlines the network and subnetworks, specific data storage locations and how they are secured, backups and how often they are done, and how network traffic is monitored. 

It also outlines the role of the different employees who are directly tasked with system security as well as the role of different departmental supervisors in ensuring that the system is secure. 

It can include a threat response plan like the one detailed above that delves into the exact steps that ought to be taken when a threat is detected. 

A security plan also outlines the types of training that employees in different departments receive on how to deal with threats and the chain of command if they are breached. 

Ensuring compliance with legal requirements

Different states have different legal and compliance data protection requirements, and one of the roles of the cyber security expert is to make sure that their organization is compliant. 

Data collection, for example, is a sensitive issue, and there are certain legal guidelines that businesses should adhere to when collecting user data. They should let the user know that they are collecting their personal information, what they will use it for, whether or not they will share it with third parties, and so on. 

Legal guidelines vary depending on where a business is located, and the cybersecurity expert should be familiar not just with the law, but they should also stay ahead of amendments and ensure their organization is compliant.


The network is only as strong as its weakest link, and it is the job of the cybersecurity expert to ensure that all employees are trained on cybersecurity threats, how to prevent them, and what to do if they sense an intrusion. 

They draw up a training plan and come up with the right material for different departments, focusing on the particular threats each department may face. 

Employees in accounting, for example, ought to be trained on how to detect embezzlement and fraud, while those in sales and marketing should be aware of how they can protect customer data. 

Training isn’t a one-off affair; the cybersecurity manager prepares and delivers refresher courses throughout the organization several times a year. 

Pursuing the right qualifications to become a cyber security analyst

Many degree courses are designed to prepare people for this career, including basic IT degrees like a bachelor’s in computer science. However, those who want to go into senior management should enroll in advanced courses like an Online Master’s in Cybersecurity. They become more than security analysts; they join senior management ranks within big organizations and are often tasked with securing large networks. 

Finding a relevant IT degree is easy; many American universities have an IT course of one type or another, but students should choose carefully if they are to find a course that equips them with the sort of skills that the industry is looking for. 

When looking for a university, there are certain things that future cybersecurity analysts should keep in mind:

The university should be accredited by the right bodies

Accreditation isn’t talked about very often when it comes to university selection, but it is one of the most important things for those who want to get a solid education that launches them into a profitable career. 

When a university is accredited it means that it has been vetted by an independent body and ticks all the boxes: it has an up-to-date and relevant curriculum, it provides the right environment for study, and it has a trained and qualified faculty. 

Employers look into where one got their degree before they hire, and they prefer to go with those who graduate from renowned universities that have a reputation for turning out highly-capable graduates.

The course should have a strong focus on cybersecurity

Different universities offer different courses, so students should look for those that have a strong focus on system security. 

Comb through the modules to see what the course covers, and talk to the college administration to find out whether the course you have in mind is security-centric. 

Online studies are encouraged, especially for those who don’t want to commute

Before enrolling, you should think about whether it is best to do an on-campus course or register as an online student. 

Online degrees have become increasingly popular in recent years because they offer convenience, are cheaper, and do not compromise the quality of learning. Those who enroll in online classes cover the same course content as those who attend in-person classes. 

For working professionals and others who may not have time to commute to a college campus several times a week, this mode of learning allows them to gain qualifications without giving up other commitments.

Applicants should have the necessary qualifications for the course they have in mind

Different universities have different requirements, and students should go through the list before they enroll. Some may require an existing background in IT, a bachelor’s IT course, some level of work experience, or even knowledge of certain programming languages. 

Make sure the faculty are properly qualified

How well students perform largely relies on how good the faculty is. Those who are properly trained and experienced bring with them high-quality instruction that prepares students for the job market. 

Good faculty isn’t all about teaching; it is also about having the ability to mentor students and help them achieve their potential. 

A good instructor helps students in areas where they may be struggling and gives them advice on how best to navigate their studies. They foster open discussion and brainstorming, and they encourage students to pursue new ideas.

The university should provide the support the students need

Whichever university one chooses should have the necessary resources to help students perform as well as possible. They should have a reliable platform for online learning as well as all the necessary course materials, student counselors, career counselors, and other professionals who help students transition into the job market. 

How can students ensure success during their cybersecurity training?

Those who opt for online cybersecurity degrees should be prepared for the challenges that come with this type of instruction. 

The biggest one is that the student self-supervises. They have to be disciplined enough to attend classes as scheduled, complete tasks and assignments, and participate in group discussions. 

Online degrees have a high dropout rate because many underestimate the demands of these courses. They are no different from on-campus classes except for the fact the student is in charge of all their affairs. 

Completing an online course requires high levels of discipline and self-drive. Students must set aside time every day to attend to their course, complete assignments, and attend all tests and exams as scheduled. 

Working professionals and people with young families should make an honest assessment of whether or not they will have the time to complete their course. 

They can talk to employers about an adjusted work schedule that allows an hour or two each day to attend classes and complete assignments. 

Parents with young families can seek the help of family and friends with everyday chores so that they can pay proper attention to their studies. 

Lastly, students should make use of the resources that are provided to them by the university. Many institutions have online libraries, textbooks, and lots of other resources that can be accessed through the student’s online portal. 


Cybersecurity analysts have become a vital part of business, and those who have the right qualifications can look forward to a productive and exciting career that pays well. As more and more companies commit resources to secure systems, data, and information, more jobs will become available to those who have in-depth knowledge of systems security.

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