• Carol McGall

The Role of a Cyber Security Analyst

Cyberattacks are a regular occurrence, as hackers employ increasingly sophisticated techniques to breach security protocols and bypass systems and networks to access sensitive data and disrupt operations. A sound cybersecurity strategy is essential to protecting sensitive data, intellectual property, and infrastructure. Cyber analysts act as the watchman, gate keeper, guardian of your data, and defender of your cyber universe. When breaches do occur, they are the special forces response team that rids your system of intruders and rebuilds defenses.




Who is a Cyber Analyst?

Defender. Watchman. Gatekeeper. First Responder.

Cybersecurity analysts are trained personnel who plan and implement security measures to protect systems and networks from hacking. They, along with key business stakeholders, are responsible for the security of the systems and networks of commercial organizations and government agencies, safeguarding them from cybercrime.


Hacking methods evolve almost daily, so a cybersecurity analyst must stay current on—and even anticipate—the latest technology, methods of attack, and prevention and recovery protocols. To do this effectively, an understanding of the businesses and the enterprise they support is essential. As they monitor, analyze, and address any potential or real threat, they provide critical data and insights to leadership regarding risk levels.

What Do Cyber Analysts Do?

Protect. Monitor. Respond. Report.


1. Deploy Security Measures: Cybersecurity analysts are responsible for security software and other protections. This requires a thorough understanding of the risks, the likelihood of attack, the most likely hacker(s), the business, its operations, and its tolerance for risk. When a breach or suspected breach occurs, they are the first responders who deploy the company’s response protocols—or formulate a real-time response if the protocol doesn’t cover the breach.


2. Monitor Networks for Security Issues: Cyber analysts watch for any irregularities or suspicious activities on your systems and pinpoint them for evaluation. When necessary, they immediately deploy response and remediation protocols to protect your company and your constituents.


3. Investigate Breaches and Cybersecurity Issues: Cybersecurity analysts act on any suspicious indicators. Their unique knowledge and expertise enables them to spot anomalies and assess threats, ideally, before they are successful. Their investigative expertise is critical to developing and maintaining an effective enterprise-wide cyber strategy for defense, recovery, and resiliency.

4. Document and Triage All Breaches: Each cyber risk must be triaged not just to assess and address the current risk, but to inform future protections. Documenting security events and analysis provides a valuable historical view of threats, responses, trends, and ROI. This insight is vital to both prevention and resilience.


5. Scenarios and Simulation: In order to be well-positioned to prevent and respond, cyber analysts identify the most likely risk scenarios and run simulations to identify and resolve vulnerabilities. Based on this exercise, they take the necessary steps to remedy issues.


6. Advise Management: The cyber analyst is the SME on cyber risk. In addition to maintaining familiarity with the latest risks, technology, and business requirements, their analysis and reporting can provide significant insights on vulnerability, response, and ROI.


7. Prevention Education: Cybersecurity analysts are also deeply involved in educating the entire workforce on the best practices for protecting themselves and their constituents from cybercrime. Cybersecurity analysts develop policies, procedures, and practices to be distributed to and followed by employees to ensure that networks, systems, and information across the organization are protected.


The role of the cyber analyst is key to the security of the organization, bringing a highly specialized knowledge and skill set to protect the company, its customers and vendors, and its employees. They are important not just to the systems and networks that house your data, but to the CEO, board, and business leaders who drive investments in security, and the individuals whose daily practice must support the protection of valuable data assets and operational systems.