Person using laptop for Big data mining and cybersecurity analytics career

Advancing Your Career: Is Cybersecurity Analytics Really Needed?


If you’re not a tech professional, you may have a limited understanding of data analytics. However, nearly everyone is familiar with the widespread existence of cybersecurity in today’s internet-driven society and the tremendous need for it.

This article will examine how data analytics and cybersecurity collide in the science and practice of cybersecurity analytics. It will also look at the importance of cybersecurity analytics training for professionals in both the cybersecurity and data analytics sectors.

Cybersecurity vs. Data Analytics 

Cybersecurity professionals protect organizations' online data and that of their customers, clients, members, employees, and partners. Data scientists, on the other hand, might study a wide range of massive data sets to detect meaningful patterns and glean business insights to aid in practical problem-solving and decision-making. 

While the cybersecurity professional is solely dedicated to preventing and addressing cyberattacks, the data scientist can use big data to overcome challenges and optimize operations in areas of business operation. This can range from marketing and sales to shipping, human resources, and regulatory oversight. Cybersecurity and data science merge in cybersecurity analytics. 

Key Differences Between Cybersecurity and Data Science 

Data analytics and cybersecurity analytics share a great deal in common. As a professional in either of these fields, your workday will revolve around the strategic collection, organization, manipulation, analysis, testing, and evaluation of digital data. Therefore, a strong background in computer science and information technology (IT) is essential in both fields. 

However, the general data analyst will typically work with enormous datasets and utilize a broad spectrum of statistical tools to identify relationships and make correlations that can guide operational improvements and strategic growth for an organization. Concentrating solely on cybersecurity matters, the cybersecurity analyst looks only at data that can assist in monitoring online networks for suspicious activity, maintaining firewalls and other protective measures, fielding system security threat alerts, and generally protecting an organization’s digital assets. 

How Cybersecurity and Data Science Are Interrelated 

Within the cybersecurity field, data science is an essential component of adequate protective measures of all kinds. 

For this reason, it is fairly common for computer science and IT professionals to transition from data science to cybersecurity or vice versa. 

Because not all jobs in the cybersecurity field require extensive and advanced technological knowledge, the average cybersecurity professional may need to complete data analytics training before pursuing work as a cybersecurity analyst. 

In contrast, an experienced data scientist with a solid foundation in digital analytics must learn the broader concepts and methodologies of cybersecurity to apply existing technical skills in this new field effectively. 

Understanding the Role of Cybersecurity Analytics in Protecting Data 

As reported in Cybercrime Magazine, global cybercrime is expected to cost businesses $9.5 trillion in 2024. “If it were measured as a country,” writes Cybercrime Magazine’s editor-in-chief Steve Morgan, “then cybercrime would be the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China.” Considering the massive negative impact of cybercrime today, it is unsurprising that organizations are rapidly increasing their use of cybersecurity systems and professionals. 

Common Misconceptions About Cybersecurity Analytics 

In his 2023 article about the top cybersecurity myths, Forbes Magazine contributor Bernard Marr warned organizations of all kinds that for-profit businesses are certainly not the only targets of cyberattacks. The article also debunks the common misconception that cyberattacks tend to be external threats. Up to 75 percent of all security breaches are likely to be inside jobs. 

How Data Analytics Addresses Modern Cybersecurity Threats 

Each working day, a cybersecurity analyst might be tasked with any number of responsibilities to protect an organization’s digital assets. Cybersecurity analytics give organizations a clear view of their online traffic and information flow, which places analysts in an ideal position to identify problematic anomalies. In addition to monitoring network activities, cybersecurity analysts conduct routine vulnerability assessments and collaborate regularly with IT team members to strengthen digital defenses. Of course, they also respond promptly to investigate and address all cybersecurity breaches. 

The Role of Cybersecurity Analytics in Ensuring Big Data Security 

By using the latest technological tools to accomplish all the tasks outlined above, cybersecurity analysts can help organizations anticipate, detect, prevent, and respond to a wide variety of security threats. Big data analytics can aid in all these efforts by analyzing massive amounts of online network data in real-time. 

The Impact of Cybersecurity Analytics on Different Industries 

Although organizations of all kinds can benefit from cybersecurity and the data analytics that drives it, the cybersecurity experts at Bitdefender have listed healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and SaaS (software as a Service) as the top four industries that need to prioritize cybersecurity the most. The IRS and other government agencies that handle sensitive personal information must also place an extraordinarily high value on relevant cybersecurity precautions. 

Advancing Your Cybersecurity Career with Data Analytics 

If you are an existing or aspiring cybersecurity professional, you can expand your professional horizons considerably with specialized training in data analytics. In 2024, Cybercrime Magazine identified cybersecurity as a key employment sector, pointing out that the number of open jobs in the sector has held steady at a substantial 3.5 million since 2021. This effectively makes the unemployment rate in cybersecurity 0 percent. With the right combination of training in cybersecurity and data science, you can take full advantage of the many employment opportunities in this sector. 

The Growing Demand for Cybersecurity Analytics 

The experts at Cybercrime Magazine write that they “expect that the disparity between the supply and demand of cybersecurity talent will persist through 2025.” Estimating that the candidates for currently open cybersecurity positions could fill 50 professional football stadiums, Cybercrime Magazine drives home the massive need for qualified cybersecurity analytics professionals. 

Essential Skills for Cybersecurity Analysts 

Whether you acquire them through a college program or any other way, you must have a diverse set of “hard” technical skills and “soft” workplace skills if you want to succeed in cybersecurity analytics. 

In terms of hard skills, a background in coding with a specific emphasis on scripting is extremely beneficial. You will also need a strong understanding of network, cloud, and operating systems, as well as common cybersecurity control frameworks such as those by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the International Organization for Standardization, and the Center for Information Security. 

Beyond their technical abilities, cybersecurity analysts must possess key soft skills to complete projects efficiently and work productively with others. Some of the most relevant soft skills in the cybersecurity analytics field include risk management, critical thinking, and both written and verbal communication. 

Career Opportunities and Salaries in Cybersecurity Analytics 

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has no official statistics for cybersecurity analysts, it charts available career opportunities and salaries in the cybersecurity analytics field through the information security analyst and computer/information research scientist professions. BLS statistics demonstrate a similarly rosy employment outlook for information security analysts and computer/information research scientists alike. 

Tasked with protecting a particular organization’s computer systems and networks, information security analysts with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field earn roughly $112,000 per year. They can expect employment growth at an exceptional rate of 32 percent through 2032. 

Computer/information research scientists develop new technology and technology uses both in and out of the world of cybersecurity. While open positions for these professionals are expanding at a slower rate than those for information security analysts, the 23 percent growth rate for computer/information research scientists is still almost eight times higher than the average for all U.S. occupations. 

With most employers expecting a master’s degree or higher to enter the field, the educational barriers for computer/information research scientists are significantly higher than those for information security analysts. But with an annual median pay of approximately $137,000, computer/information research scientists tend to out-earn information security analysts by nearly $25,000 per year. 

Benefits of Cybersecurity Analytics to Organizations 

Cybersecurity analysts earn a healthy income for a good reason. Their ability to leverage the power of big data to identify, analyze, mitigate, and protect against security breaches is unparalleled in the cybersecurity sector. 

Future Trends and Opportunities in Cybersecurity Analytics 

Although the future is bright for professionals in the cybersecurity industry, you can better capitalize on this sunny outlook by better understanding of the evolving cybersecurity landscape. 

Emerging Trends in Cybersecurity Analytics 

Publishing its “Top Cybersecurity Predictions of 2024,” Security Magazine, noted that an increased emphasis on quality training is likely to predominate the industry. Other key predictions include a massive shift away from multi-factor authentication and toward various forms of password-less authentication. 

Predicting the Future of Cybersecurity Analytics 

The above cybersecurity trends and many others are driven by the need to address specific cyberattacks as they become more complex and dangerous. According to Security Magazine the top digital security threats of 2024 include increasingly sophisticated phishing business email compromise (BEC) attacks that employ artificial intelligence and other advanced technology to recreate the voice or physical image of a trusted confidant. 

Ready to Take the Next Step in Your Cybersecurity or Data Analytics Career? 

If you are interested in gaining comprehensive skills in cybersecurity analytics, you owe it to yourself to take a close look at the Master of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics at Champlain College Online. To learn more about this program, fill out a short online form

Frequently Asked Questions 

To learn more about topics related to cybersecurity analytics, examine these FAQs. 

What Is the Difference Between a Cybersecurity Analyst and a Data Analyst? 

Beyond the differing employment prospects and workplace responsibilities outlined above, cybersecurity analysts and data analysts tend to differ in their common personal attributes and preferences. For example, cybersecurity analysts must generally thrive under high-pressure circumstances, while data analysts often require a wider and more comprehensive professional purview. 

What Is the Need for Cybersecurity Analytics? 

As cyberattacks become increasingly technologically sophisticated, organizations need the big data capabilities of cybersecurity analytics to keep digital networks secure. 

How Is Data Analytics Used in Cybersecurity? 

A cybersecurity analyst can use data to monitor networks for anomalies, immediately address threats, and optimize protective endeavors. 

How Can Big Data Be Integrated Into Cybersecurity Operations? 

Organizations can often integrate an analytics platform into their existing cybersecurity operations. Analyzing vast amounts of information in real-time, these platforms can detect both external and internal cyberattacks before they occur. 

Can I Take a Cybersecurity Program After a Bachelor’s in Data Analytics? 

There is rarely a wrong time to enhance your professional capabilities with specialized cybersecurity training. A graduate degree in cybersecurity analytics is a great second educational step after securing an undergraduate degree in data analytics.

About the Author

Champlain College Online

Download Program Guide

Learn what you can expect from a career in cybersecurity analytics. 

Sunset over Lake Champlain from Champlain College campus in Burlington, Vermont

Download Cybersecurity Careers Ebook

I acknowledge that, by clicking the "submit" button, I am giving my express written consent to Champlain College and its representatives to contact me about educational opportunities via email, text, or phone, at the phone number above, including my mobile phone, using an automatic dialer, or pre-recorded message. Message and data rates may apply. I understand that my consent is not a requirement for enrollment, and I may withdraw my consent at any time.