What does a cyber security analyst do?

Muhammet Donmez
June 19, 2024
What does a cyber security analyst do?

Cybersecurity analysts work to protect an organization's or institution's information systems or networks. These professionals create plans to defend against cyber threats caused by hackers or malicious software. In addition, cyber security analysts also detect and analyze attacks and ensure that the necessary measures are taken to prevent the cyber attacks from happening again. Analysts also develop various security measures for systems and identify and close security vulnerabilities. They create cybersecurity incident response plans and take action when required. Collecting and analyzing security product logs, they write detection rules to detect anomalies and cyber threats on systems. 

The responsibilities of cyber security analysts include monitoring alerts generated by security products, analyzing network traffic, identifying security vulnerabilities, creating and implementing security policies and procedures, deploying cyber security products, and providing cyber security training and awareness. In addition, cyber security analysts are expected to keep up with the latest developments in cyber security and adapt their systems to current threats.


Cybersecurity analysts perform various tasks daily to protect organizations from cyber threats. These tasks include monitoring and responding to security incidents, identifying and managing vulnerabilities, developing and implementing security policies, raising employee awareness about information security, and managing security technologies.

Analysts monitor, analyze, and respond to security alerts as part of the security incident monitoring and response process. This is critical for identifying potential threats and strengthening the organization's defenses. Vulnerability management, on the other hand, is the process of identifying and closing vulnerabilities in systems. It reduces the likelihood of attackers penetrating the organization and minimizes vulnerabilities.

Developing and implementing security policies increases organizational cyber resilience by establishing and enforcing security standards. Educating employees about cyber threats reduces human security risks to the organization.

Finally, security technology management involves using various tools and software to protect and manage the organization's security infrastructure. These tools play an important role in the detection, blocking, and response to cyber-attacks. All of these responsibilities point to cybersecurity analysts’ important role in protecting organizations from cyber threats. Therefore, it is important for analysts to be technically skilled and to keep up to date with evolving technologies.

What does a cyber security analyst do daily?

  1. Monitoring security events: Cybersecurity analysts routinely monitor alerts from security products. They examine these alerts in detail and take the necessary actions depending on whether the alert is a false positive or a true positive. They analyze false positive alerts to determine the underlying cause. As a result, they make necessary rule adjustments to prevent the alert from recurring. Next, analysts focus on true positive alerts. They review logs from security products for analysis. The logs they receive must be parsed correctly for the analysis to be correct. According to the alert reviews, they ensure that the necessary actions are taken in the security products. The alert resulting from this whole process must be reported. In the report, the entire procedure associated with the alert and all of the cybersecurity analyst's reviews will be described in depth. In other words, cybersecurity analysts monitor the alerts that occur as a process, analyze, tune rules, take actions on security products, and write a report summarizing and explaining the process.

  1. Analyzing security vulnerabilities: Cybersecurity analysts are in charge of protecting information systems or networks of the organization they are part of. Constant monitoring of security vulnerabilities in the systems is the most important step. To detect vulnerabilities in systems, they perform security scans or penetration tests on the network. Their goal is to identify and patch vulnerabilities. Every day, a new vulnerability may appear in the applications in the systems, making the systems vulnerable or exploitable by attackers. Cybersecurity analysts' main goal is to make systems as secure as possible. So they regularly scan their systems and identify vulnerabilities.


  1. Developing Security Policies and Procedures: Cybersecurity analysts are responsible for creating security policies and procedures for their institution or organization. Once these policies are in place, they are also responsible for any necessary updates regularly. Data protection, encryption, access control, and other security issues are usually covered in the security policies. Additionally, security procedures detail the roles and responsibilities of the organization's information security committee. Cybersecurity policies prioritize system assets and threats. This is the first step in determining how important cybersecurity is to the company.

  1. Providing security training and awareness: The goal of cyber security analysts is the improvement of cyber security in organizations. Typically, this involves taking several actions on systems and security products. However, for these actions to be successful, employees with actual cyber security awareness are crucial. However, no matter how many vulnerability scans are performed, detection rules are written, but if employees do not have information security awareness, the organization is at risk because attackers mostly prefer phishing attacks, as it is often more difficult to circumvent security products than to fool the end user. The organization should also enforce password policies, such as using strong passwords. Employees should be educated about the risks associated with the use of weak passwords and common passwords. To keep this awareness current, these sessions should be repeated periodically. It is usually the responsibility of cybersecurity analysts to prepare and deliver this training to employees.

  1. Managing Security Technologies: Cyber security analysts use many products while providing cyber security in organizations. SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) is arguably the most important. SIEM collects a lot of logs from security environments, combines these logs, and makes them intelligible to people. Cybersecurity analysts then write detection rules for the SIEM. Getting these logs into SIEM, mapping them, parsing them, and writing rules is the responsibility of cybersecurity analysts. They must therefore manage many different technology products. At the top of the list are firewalls, proxies, email security, WAF, DLP, DDoS devices, and EDR/NDR. Therefore, cybersecurity analysts need to fully capture logs from security devices to the SIEM product and then write detection rules to accurately detect attacks.

  1. Trend Analysis and Research: The methods used by attackers are changing with each passing day. Therefore, to be the least affected by attacks or to detect attacks in time, cybersecurity analysts on the defense side need to keep the systems up-to-date. To do this, they must track and continuously research cybersecurity trends. Following trends is important on both the defensive and offensive sides. Following the trends on the defense side makes sure that when a new technology comes along, you can implement that technology. Following the trends on the offensive side will in turn strengthen the defensive side. Because the detection rules in the defense can be written according to the methods that the attackers are using, or if there are vulnerabilities that they are using, they can be closed. Therefore, for a strong defense, cybersecurity analysts need to keep themselves overall updated.

Skills Every Cyber Security Analyst Needs

Cybersecurity analysts are responsible for protecting organizations from cyber threats through monitoring, analysis, and response to security incidents. To be successful in this role, cybersecurity analysts need to have a technical skill set which is outlined in the following:

  • Network Security: Essential skills for analysis include understanding network protocols, traffic analysis, firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and network architecture.

  • Operating Systems: Cyber A cyber security analyst's mastery of operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and MacOS, and command lines at a basic level will make their job simpler.

  • Vulnerability Management: Cybersecurity Analysts manage the process of identifying, assessing, and correcting vulnerabilities in systems and applications. Therefore, they are expected to be able to use vulnerability scanning tools and analyze the results of scanning for vulnerabilities.

  • Malware Analysis: Cybersecurity analysts should be skilled in analyzing malware behavior, identifying malware types, and understanding malware propagation techniques, as it's one of the most common alerts they'll encounter during the day as attackers actively use it today.

  • Web Security: A cybersecurity analyst is expected to possess knowledge of web application security principles, common vulnerabilities (e.g., SQL injection, XSS), and secure coding practices because the primary target of remote attackers is web applications that are open to remote access. Web application downtime can cause both reputational and financial loss, even for a short period. Web security is therefore vital. 

  • Endpoint Security: Since the weakest point of an organization is its employees who are not aware of information security, it is important to monitor the security of end users. The attackers are aware of this as there are too many phishing attempts aimed at this weak point.

Essential Cyber Security Tools and Software

Cybersecurity tools and software play a critical role in protecting organizations from various cyber threats. The following are some of the basic tools and software that are commonly used in the field of cyber security.

  • SIEM(Security information and event management): SIEM is a must-have in cybersecurity. The first thing that someone entering cyber security from the defense side should learn is alert analysis, log review, log parsing, report generation, and rule writing in SIEM. 

  • Firewalls: A firewall is a security device used to control incoming or outgoing network traffic according to predetermined security rules. It provides a barrier between the local network and the web. Logs generated by firewall traffic are sent to SIEM and then the detection rules are written to the SIEM. This process enables the detection of inbound attacks through the firewall.

  • Antivirus Software: Antivirus software is specialized in the detection, prevention, and removal/deletion of malicious software such as viruses, worms, and Trojans. For endpoint security, it is a must. It continuously scans files, applications, and programs to detect malware. Cybersecurity analysts also continuously monitor and analyze alerts generated by AV. 

  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR): It helps to continuously monitor and respond to the endpoints (desktops, laptops, servers, etc.) in the systems. It tracks and takes action on advanced threats, malware, and suspicious behavior in real-time. Therefore, it is important to track EDR logs to examine the attacker's behavior on the system. While AV is often used to detect and block traditional malware, EDR provides protection against more advanced threats and can more closely monitor and respond to incidents. 

  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS): IDS monitors network and system activity to detect suspicious activity and policy violations. Alerts are generated when unauthorized access attempts or malware activity is detected. These alerts are reviewed by cybersecurity analysts, and if they determine that the behavior belongs to attackers, the necessary actions are taken. On the other hand, IPSs can act on these alerts themselves. It can block the IP or drop the incoming suspicious packets. So while IDS detects, IPS prevents. The goal here is to reduce the workload of the cyber security analyst and to be able to take action quickly. After all, cyber security is a race against time.

  • Vulnerability Scanners: Vulnerability scanning tools detect vulnerabilities in the network, systems, and applications. As a result, they ensure that necessary updates are made to systems. This enables cybersecurity analysts to make systems safer. By scanning the current vulnerabilities, cybersecurity analysts can check if they are affected by the vulnerability. Detection rules can be written by analyzing the logs that are generated as a result of these scans. After all, similar logs will be generated when attackers attempt to exploit the vulnerability.  

  • Security Awareness Training Platforms: Security awareness training platforms: Cybersecurity training platforms increase information security awareness among employees. Since cybersecurity analysts are also responsible for preparing training and exams to raise the information security awareness of employees in the organization, such platforms will facilitate their work by providing interactive training, phishing simulations, and security tests to raise security awareness., even scenarios encountered in real life appear as simulations. In fact, such platforms will not only help those working in organizations but also those who want to improve themselves as cybersecurity analysts. With sample logs from attackers, analysis will be easier. Below is an example of phishing analysis. Here, phishing email analysis is given as training and there are also challenging examples for the employees to test themselves.

Do you need to know how to code to be a cybersecurity analyst?

Do you need to know how to code to be a Cyber Security Analyst?

Those who want to become a cyber security analyst often ask this question. However,  coding skills are not always mandatory for a cybersecurity analyst. Coding skills will benefit the cybersecurity analyst because scripting knowledge is sometimes required, albeit at a basic level of analysis. Scripting skills will help cybersecurity analysts in the following areas

  • Scripting for Automation
  • Understanding Malware Analysis
  • Custom Tool Development
  • Security Tool Integration


In conclusion, cyber security analysts perform a wide variety of tasks daily, and these tasks play a crucial role in protecting an organization from cyber threats. Cybersecurity analysts monitor security incidents, manage vulnerabilities, develop policies, provide awareness training, and manage security technology. In doing so, they strengthen defenses against cyber attacks and keep organizations safe. Cybersecurity Analysts effectively combat cyber threats by staying on the cutting edge with their technical skills and by being committed to staying current with ongoing research. For anyone interested in learning more about cybersecurity analysts, we hope this article will be useful!


  • https://app.letsdefend.io/
  • https://www.cisa.gov/careers/work-rolescyber-defense-analyst
  • https://www.wgu.edu/career-guide/information-technology/cybersecurity-analyst-career.html

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