Security analysts are auditors who find weaknesses in a company network. They help businesses patch vulnerabilities before they become a path for cyber threats. Hackers continue to find new ways to gain entrance into a private network, so network security analysts must be able to stay one step ahead from the new and old trends in hacking. These professionals are usually previous hackers — either black hat or white hat.

What Does a Network Security Analyst Do?

These professionals have several daily tasks that help keep the network safe for internal employees and customers. They audit the system and perform risk assessment for each component in the network including servers, desktops, routers, switches, and printers. Each piece of hardware connected to the network could have vulnerabilities, and a network security analyst identifies these issues. They make recommendations to other IT teams to patch systems and create defenses against hackers. Any new network segments are also audited by the analyst to ensure new platforms are installed with the highest concern for security.

Network Security Analyst Job Responsibilities and Duties

Because a network security analyst is in charge of protecting digital assets, each job responsibility is important. These responsibilities can affect the future of the network, so these professionals have a stressful position but fortunately the pay scale is higher than other security professionals. Network security analysts must be able to foresee potential vulnerabilities and meet with other team members and managers to create the right policy and rollout procedures to protect company data. Some analysts are tasked with managing other professionals in the enterprise.

Job responsibilities and duties include:

  • Create plans for current and future security controls and enhancements
  • Establish security protocols for each team member to follow
  • Triage any current cyber threats and define disaster recovery steps for future attacks
  • Maintain data security and protect database assets
  • Audit any internal network assets including off-site systems
  • Anticipate any cyber threats by keeping up-to-date with the latest security analyst news
  • Define and install IDS and IPS monitoring systems
  • Find security breaches and work with teams to patch systems
  • Help train other security teams and employees in security best practices
  • Coordinate disaster recovery practices
  • Work with outside vendors to find the best security hardware that meets budgets and security concerns

Network security analysts need several years of hands-on experience before they can be responsible for global enterprise platforms. The best way to obtain this experience is through IT job positions related to the industry. Some security experts prefer to work in other positions rather than auditing, and applicants can find similar jobs that also relate to security and networking without being an analyst.