Vector image of hands working on a computer with dollars signs all around with the words Cyber Security analyst Salaries in 2024

Cyber crime has skyrocketed in Canada in the last couple of years as criminals took advantage of the pandemic’s disruption to regular workflows. In 2021 alone, cyber crime devastated companies across a variety of industries, with 85.7% of Canadian companies being hit with some form of cyber attack. Last year, a third-party supplier of Canada Post was hit with a cyber attack that breached almost a million postal addresses. And you, yourself, may have been a victim of phishing emails or scam phone calls and texts.

With the average cost of a data breach in Canada at US $81 per a single compromised record, it’s no wonder that companies are making cybercrime prevention a major part of their IT budget.

As companies beef up their cyber security efforts, if you’ve ever considered a career as a cyber security analyst, now would be a great time to get into the industry. The best part? Companies are paying top dollar to protect their data.

The average cyber security analyst starts their career making about $67,667 per year in Canada and $75,804 per year in the US. Mid-career, cyber security analysts make $79,000 on average in Canada and $78,000+ in the US. These roles also boast incredible job security and growth outlook.

In this article we’ll talk specifically about cyber security analysts, including average salary and compensation, job duties, required education, and the typical path to become a cyber security analyst.

What does a cyber security analyst do?

Cyber security analysts are on the frontlines protecting their organizations’ valuable data. This could look like shielding the company’s hardware, software, and networks from unauthorized access, as well as monitoring networks and servers to ensure the safety and integrity of all the company’s data.

Cyber security analysts are also responsible for staying up to date on IT security trends, strategizing and executing contingency plans in the event of an attack, reviewing suspicious activity, mitigating security breaches, and writing reports when attacks do happen. These attacks include - but aren’t limited to - things like:

  • Installing malware such as viruses, Trojans, bots, and worms.
  • Phishing, which includes fraudulent emails or phone calls attempting to steal sensitive personal information.
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks, in which a cyber criminal inserts themselves between a victim’s device and network to steal data.
  • Password attacks to steal users’ passwords and gain access to their sensitive information.

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Is Cyber Security Analyst a good career?

The answer is a resounding yes. The recent increase in cyber crime globally means the skills of a cyber security analyst are in high demand, with strong job security and earning potential.

In fact, Canada’s Job Bank estimates systems security analysts as being one of the fastest growing roles in the country. By 2028, they estimate that there will be an additional 47% new cyber security jobs created. For comparison, the average job creation rate for all other occupations in Canada is about 27%.

In the US, information security analyst jobs are expected to grow by 35% by 2030—a rate much faster than the average 8% for other occupations in the country.

Globally, a Deloitte study estimated an expansion of 313,000 cyber security analyst workers worldwide within the next two years.

How much do top cyber security analysts make?

With a higher than normal starting salary, you can expect top earnings to be above the average as well. The salaries for experienced cyber security analysts are about $91,000 per year in Canada, while those with over 20 years of experience earn upward of over $150,000 per year in the US.

Of course, it’s important to note that education, level of experience as well as location will all play a part in take-home pay.
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Can cyber security analysts work from home?

Yes, cyber security analysts can work remotely from home. Because they work with sensitive data, it may seem like they need to be in the company office at all times. In reality, the majority of the job is done online and can be done remotely with a few key security precautions such as:

  • A high-speed, reliable internet connection
  • A secure VPN set-up
  • Antivirus and firewalls installed in your system
  • Switching off voice-controlled devices like Google Home and Alexa
  • Making sure your system and software are always up to date
  • Avoiding installing any third-party software and separating your work and personal usage to individual computers

How do I become a cyber security analyst?

Becoming a cyber security analyst is a fulfilling and rewarding career. Because this field is relatively new compared to other careers in tech, there are multiple paths you can take, and a wide range of skills that are valuable in cyber security. For entry-level positions, a cyber security certificate, a bachelor’s degree in a similar field, or even technical know-how are often enough to get your foot in the door. To progress to higher paid and more senior positions, you’ll likely need additional education, training, and experience. Here’s a step by step guide to becoming a cyber security analyst:

  1. Obtain a cyber security certification or degree
  2. Get relevant experience
  3. Tailor your resume

1. Obtain a cyber security certification

The first step is to get the right education for a career as a cyber security analyst, such as earning a certification, diploma, or taking related courses. Lighthouse Labs’ Cyber Security Program is an immersive, intensive program to kickstart your career in this field. Whether you’re a recent graduate, looking to change careers, or a tech enthusiast, this bootcamp will get you ready for an entry-level role as a cyber security analyst.

If you don’t have a specific degree or certification in cyber security, having a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as computer science or programming will certainly give you a leg up over the competition.

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2. Get relevant experience

While certifications and technical know-how can get you in the door, demonstrating related, real-world experience can help you get a stronger job offer—often with a higher starting salary.

Take the time to learn about the current cyber security industry and landscape, and current threats, and then practice these fundamentals. Analyze networks, perform security audits, and spend some time getting real technical experience outside of the classroom. If you can, try and get a related job in IT such as a help desk technician, IT technician, web developer, or systems administrator, to help you develop relevant technical skills.

3. Tailor your resume

Not everyone will have the perfect education and experience required for a cyber security analyst position, and that’s okay! Many employers look for related experience and transferable soft skills, opting to train new hires on the technicalities of the job. This is why it’s important to highlight any relevant work experience you may have in related fields to make you an attractive candidate.

For example, if you have programming experience, you’ll already have a grasp of identifying bugs, which will come in handy. If you’re an entrepreneur, you likely have the business acumen that’s needed to understand how IT and cyber security relates to business risk. If you work in finance, you’ll have the communications and problem-solving skills needed to understand how to best communicate risks to other teams within an organization.

Be sure to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for, highlighting any skills and experience that match the job description and requirements.

Kickstart your career as a cyber security analyst

Cyber security analysts are in high demand with higher than average salary estimates. If you’ve been contemplating a change in career or thinking of breaking into the cyber security industry, this is a great time to take that leap.

Get started with the Lighthouse Labs Cyber Security Program to get you job-ready with relevant, real-world experience.