A Security Analyst is a professional trained to detect and prevent cyber threats from damaging the assets or data of an organization. These professionals continuously work to find vulnerabilities in the organization’s security infrastructure, which consists of software, hardware, and networks. They also formulate defensive strategies to protect their weaknesses. According to the United States Department of Labor, a Security Analyst possesses some important qualities – analytical skills, detail-oriented personality, traits to anticipate ingenuity, and problem-solving skills.  Apart from that, security analysts need hands-on experience in penetration testing, intrusion detection, auditing, and a lot more. The next professional level for security analysts can be CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) level.
What Do You Need to Become a Security Analyst?
Every organization, including federal agencies and local governments, healthcare industries, educational institutions, and even retail stores, to protect the personal data of their customers actively. As a result, organizations hire security analysts to manage their security infrastructure.
A candidate requires some mandatory skills to become a successful security analyst. These traits and qualities are listed below –
1. In-depth Knowledge of Methodologies
To become the right candidate for a security analyst position, a professional need to know about various methodologies for database security, network security, web application security, wireless security, cloud penetration testing, and other relevant concepts. A few of these are traditional concepts yet, require an advanced approach.
EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) offers comprehensive knowledge on all the mentioned methodologies with many others, including Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) and penetration testing scoping and engagement methodologies.
2. Focused Attention on Social Engineering Penetration Testing
The 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) clearly mentions that from 2013 to 2018, there’s an evident increase in the social engineering attacks.  Social engineering pen testing evaluates the level of vulnerability of an organization’s employees. This type ensures that which type of cyber threat can exploit the employees of an organization to what level.
ECSA already predicted the importance of social engineering pen testing, and so managed a separate module dedicated to filling in the gaps regarding the same.
3. Gaining Hands-on Experience
Hands-on experience ensures that the candidate does not only have theoretical knowledge but can also put the learned concepts to use whenever needed. For beginners, this hands-on experience sometimes becomes the basis to get through a job interview. Many experts believe hands-on experience is more important than the required qualifications.
The real-time simulating labs of ECSA makes sure that every candidate gains the hands-on experience. These fully functional labs can be accessed 24×7.
4. Regulations and Standards Complied Knowledge
Cybersecurity regulations and standards are the directives imposed on organizations to keep their sensitive data protected from increasing cyberattacks. Security professionals are required to have a comprehensive knowledge of international and regional regulations.
ECSA ascertains that the candidates stay aware of all the regulations applicable in their organizations. The candidates holding ECSA credential knows the internal and external rules.
5. Be Aware of Your Future Roles and Responsibilities
Candidates must be familiar with the responsibilities they are going to play. A clear understanding of your role in an organization helps the employer to rely on your knowledge and skills. It depicts that the candidate possesses a strong sense of responsibilities indicating alignment with the work and what could be the practical expectations out of the hired professional.
ECSA program is designed in compliance with NICE 2.0 Framework’s Analyze (AN) and Collect and Operate (CO) specialty area. This framework can be considered a drafted plan to categorize and describe cybersecurity roles. The NICE framework was developed in coordination with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This framework helps in systematically organizing cybersecurity work.
6. Familiarity with Manual and Automated Tools
The optimal balance of manual and automated penetration testing tools helps in becoming a successful penetration tester. The use of both manual and automated tools will help you in getting you the highest possible mitigation on investment. There are certain types of penetration testing, such as logic testing which requires manual pen testing; it cannot be performed with automated tools. In such a scenario, human intervention is as necessary as automation.
The ECSA program brings the perfect blend of manual and automated penetration testing tools. It offers tools like Metasploit, Wireshark, Nmap, and many others.
7. Sharp Report Writing Skills
Report writing is one of those soft skills that help penetration tester communicate with a non-technical professional. The report writing skills are much required when presenting thoughts in front of a client or to higher-level officials. This is the easiest way to showcase complex ideas in the simplest terms possible. Not only that, the report writing skills will help in drafting a thorough output of the penetration test.
ECSA devoted a separate module for helping its candidates acquire practical report writing skills. This module will help you understand the target audience while drafting a penetration testing report.
People interested in becoming ‘Security Analyst’ need to have all the qualities mentioned above. These skills will help you find a unique identity for you and ensure that you have higher chances of getting through a job interview. Well, to adopt all these skills, you can join the EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA). A lab-intensive program which ensures that the candidate gets the industry-demanded skills and knowledge. This is a professional-level program which allows the candidates to practice their acquired knowledge in real-time virtual labs. The program covers different penetration testing methodologies with continuous stress on a generic kill chain methodology. Join ECSA to increase your visibility in the industry.
Sources: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm#tab-4  https://www.key4biz.it/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-data-breach-investigations-report.pdf