If you’ve ever considered an IT-related career that focuses specifically on detecting and analyzing threats, this career guide is for you. Cybersecurity positions across the board are in high demand, and this type of important position is no exception. Keep reading to learn more about how to become a cyber threat intelligence analyst, including the skills, education and experience needed and what types of companies are hiring.
What Does a Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst Do?
As the name implies, a person in this type of position analyzes and tracks cyber threats and intelligence while specializing in the monitoring of cybersecurity threats.
Here is few comprehensive definitions:
- “A threat intelligence analyst (TIA) analyzes and detects cyber threats and malware impacting an enterprise. They investigate the level of threat posed by an attack and consequently enable organizations to take informed cybersecurity-based business decisions. These professionals are aware of the cybersecurity risks of concern for different industry verticals and help secure the critical assets that need protection. Threat intelligence analysts prioritize threats and focus on the most severe ones.” — Spiceworks
- “A threat analyst specializes in monitoring and analyzing active as well as potential cyber security threats, while gathering useful intelligence from an incredibly wide spectrum of sources.” — Flatiron School
According to ZipRecruiter, responsibilities include determining system vulnerability, monitoring and assessing potential threats and ensuring the network is secure. People in these types of positions may also monitor cybersecurity programs and deliver reports.
Hard and Soft Skills Needed
To become a successful cyber threat intelligence analyst you need a combination of technical and cybersecurity knowledge and the ability to effectively communicate and solve complex problems. Keep this list of hard and soft skills in mind:
- Technical knowledge and ability
- Solid communication
- Creative problem solving
- The ability to understand how the enemy thinks
- Proficiency in cybersecurity trends, threats, concepts, ideas, etc.
- A desire to learn
Experience, Education and Certification Requirements
In most cases, you will need a bachelor’s degree in IT, computer science or a related field, in addition to experience in computer science — specifically with network security systems. Some positions may also require security clearance.
Companies may also require a certain type of advanced degree and/or certification. Common certifications for this position include:
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP)
- Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
Here are some requirements pulled directly from LinkedIn postings for these types of positions:
- Advanced IT certification and Joint Cyber Analysis Course (JCAC) graduate preferred.
- Active DoD Top Secret Clearance with SCI Eligibility is required at hire and must be maintained.
- Bachelor’s degree in a related discipline with 8+ years of applicable combined education and experience; additional related years of experience is accepted in lieu of a degree.
- Intermediate understanding of cloud environments and infrastructure (preferably AWS).
- Experience with SOAR tools (Security Orchestration and Automation, Security Incident Response Platforms [such as TheHive], Threat Intelligence Platforms)
Companies Hiring Cyber Threat Intelligence Analysts
Companies and organizations across all industries are looking to fill these types of analyst positions. A recent search on LinkedIn revealed the following businesses are hiring:
- M&T Bank
- Air Force Civilian Service
- Motorola Solutions
- Trinity Health
- Costco Wholesale
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- Bank of America
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
How Much Does a Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst Make?
The exact amount will vary depending on the position, company, responsibilities, experience/education required and location. It’s important to note that salaries are often updated in real time due to fluctuating data.
Here are some examples of salary ranges you can expect with this position:
Frequently Asked Questions
Elevate Your Cybersecurity Career With the University of San Diego
If you’re interested in exploring a career as a cyber threat intelligence analyst, look no further than the University of San Diego, which offers two advanced degrees in cybersecurity.
The Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership, which is 100% online, is ideal for professionals who are interested in gaining leadership skills and a deeper understanding of cybersecurity topics, theories and concepts.
USD’s Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering is geared toward those with an engineering background who aspire to become security engineers. Offered both online and in person, this program has been designated as a National Center for Academic Excellence.