Cyber ​​Security Engineer vs Analyst: What’s the Difference?


There has never been a better time to start building a good career in cybersecurity. The dangers and threats to an organization’s infrastructure are constantly increasing, with both cybersecurity analysts and engineers at the forefront.

These experts fight all types of threats – from ransomware to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks – with cybercriminals turning the screws on companies. While there are a plethora of learning and training opportunities in the form of university degrees, certifications, and online cybersecurity courses, there are several avenues to take.

For example, although there are similarities between cyber security engineers and cyber security analysts, they are two different career paths. Those who decide to pursue either path should ensure that their slightly different needs, expectations, and future career prospects in cybersecurity make them the best fit for that particular career.

What does a Cyber ​​Security Engineer do?

A cyber security engineer is responsible for creating and deploying highly secure networks that protect an organization from potential cyber security breaches. Such professionals will most likely be found in larger organizations and companies that often have to deal with highly sensitive data.

A cyber security engineer’s responsibilities include conducting assessments and penetration testing in identifying system and network vulnerabilities. This goes hand in hand with the development and use of security measures to protect systems, networks and data. They must also be able to remediate and detect inappropriate access and provide solutions for an organization’s infrastructure.

An engineer must also ensure that appropriate security controls are reliably in place to protect their organization’s data and infrastructure.

What Does a Cyber ​​Security Analyst Do?

A cyber security analyst helps protect a company from cyber attacks and unauthorized access. To do this, analysts must anticipate and mitigate cyber threats and respond to security breaches as they occur.

Cybersecurity analyst responsibilities include monitoring network traffic for security incidents and events, investigating incidents, and responding to events as they occur. They must generate comprehensive incident response reports, deploy and run firewalls, manage encryption programs, tune other security software, and troubleshoot vulnerabilities.

You can also develop and support information security best practices, conduct threat research, and perform recurring risk assessments and penetration testing.

What Skills Do Cyber ​​Security Engineers and Cyber ​​Security Analysts Need?

A cyber security engineer should have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or another related field of study. They should also have an understanding of cybersecurity methods and practices.

Professionals in this area must also be able to assess system changes for security implications and be aware of making recommendations to improve an organization’s security posture. You should also have an understanding of emerging trends and hacking techniques in the broader field of cybersecurity.

Technical skills a Cyber ​​Security Engineer should have include expertise in Java, Python, .NET, C++, Bash, and PowerShell, as well as knowledge of the TCP/IP stack and the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. This is the conceptual model that standardizes connections between computers.

As with cyber security engineers, it is recommended that a cyber security analyst have a bachelor’s degree in an IT or a technology-related field. While there is on-the-job training, as a prerequisite analysts should be very familiar with the core IT platforms that a prospective employer uses, what their weaknesses are and how best to overcome them. You should also understand how systems within an organization affect the overall security posture.

Cyber ​​security analysts should also have knowledge of languages ​​such as JavaScript, Shell, Python, C++ and other programming languages ​​to give them an understanding of written code so they can detect threats and deal with them in any form. For example, an emerging form of ransomware is that written in Rust, which requires analysts to stay abreast of developments like this.

Cyber ​​security analysts should be able to think like a hacker when it comes to gaining access to infrastructure, so any qualifications in ethical hacking can help diversify their knowledge and understand threats to proficiently defend systems .

Soft skills that a cybersecurity analyst should possess also include good written and verbal communication skills. You should be able to lead and follow teams and collaborate with other departments to deliver security solutions across the organization.

What are the differences and similarities between Cyber ​​Security Engineers and Analysts?

Both cyber security engineers and analysts are responsible for preventing data breaches and securing infrastructure and systems, so there seems to be a fine line between the two roles. However, the key difference between the two is that while security engineers design and deploy security architectures, security analysts monitor the network and other operations to detect and prevent security breaches.

Another key difference between the two is that a cyber security engineer prepares the infrastructure to be defended in the event of an attack, while a cyber security analyst looks for weaknesses in this defense posture to make it less vulnerable.

There are also some key similarities between the two. Both engineers and analysts contribute to all facets of an organization’s data security planning and operations. You also need to stay up to date with the latest trends in information and network security to stay ahead of hackers. Analysts also need to keep up with developments, as part of their job is to advocate for security improvements to management and senior IT staff.

You also need good analytical skills, attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and original thinking. Both roles also require skills in documenting, shaping, and communicating an organization’s security policies.

How do training and learning paths and career prospects differ?

For cyber security analysts, training can often be on-the-job. There are several industry-related qualifications that analysts can earn, such as: B. the Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP), the Certified Professional (CCP) program or the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Anyone wishing to advance into leadership, management and supervisory roles can complete a qualification such as the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification.

Although the job requires a few years of cybersecurity experience, there are several qualifications and certifications that cybersecurity engineers can earn to improve their career prospects. These can be qualifications such as the Certified Network Defender certification, the ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification, and the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification.

Starting salaries for cyber security analysts typically range from £25,000 to £35,000 per year, while more experienced and experienced cyber security analysts can expect to earn up to £60,000. According to Technojobs, the average starting salary for a cybersecurity engineer is £43,000. This rises to £68,750 for an intermediate position and £85,500 for a senior level engineer.

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