Cyber Security Job Description: 10 Revealing Examples

Cyber Security Job Description

The cyber security industry reveals various roles, each with its responsibilities, skills, and career paths. 

This introduction to cyber security job descriptions aims to shed light on the specific aspects of various positions within the field. 

We’ll examine everything, from the foundational roles that form the backbone of security operations to the specialized experts who fend off sophisticated cyber threats and strategic leadership positions overseeing and managing cyber security at an organizational level. 

Each job description outlined here will provide insights into the role's core duties, necessary skills, and the educational and certification pathways that can lead to success in the cyber security industry.

If you’re ready, let’s start. 

The Cyber Security Job Landscape

The cyber security job landscape is diverse, encompassing various domains that range from technical to managerial roles. 

Careers in this field are organized into five sequential stages, guiding you from foundational levels to expertise. Specific skills, knowledge, and certifications characterize each level. 

As you progress from one stage to the next, the competencies gained at earlier stages serve as essential building blocks for acquiring more advanced skills and knowledge necessary for advancing to more specialized roles. 

This cumulative learning approach ensures a solid foundation for a successful career in cyber security.

  • Stage 1: Essential IT – Initial phase for newcomers to understand computer operations and usage
  • Stage 2: Networking – Learning how to connect systems for information exchange and network construction
  • Stage 3: General Cyber Security – Delving into general cyber security and gaining a broad skill set for protecting networks, systems, and data
  • Stage 4: Advanced General or Speciality Skills – Diving deeper into a broad set of cyber security skills or focusing on niche areas
  • Stage 5: Cyber Security Governance or Specialist Expert – Reserved for those who achieve expertise, leading to roles either in governance or as experts in their area of focus

This progression reflects the industry’s diverse opportunities, catering to technically inclined individuals and those leaning toward strategic roles.

Stages 4 and 5 specifically diverge into two distinct paths: one focusing on specialist technical roles like penetration testing and incident analysis and the other on governance, emphasizing strategic and leadership positions such as cyber security managers and CISOs. 

Cyber Security Job Descriptions

As we explore diverse cyber security job descriptions, we'll delve into an overview of the role and identify which of the five stages of cyber security career progression it belongs to. 

We'll outline the primary responsibilities, necessary technical and interpersonal skills, and highlight the certifications that can bolster a candidate's qualifications. 

Moreover, we'll provide insights into the job's market demand and potential salary expectations, offering a comprehensive snapshot to guide career development in this dynamic industry.

Stage 3: General Cyber Security Jobs

Stage 3 in the cyber security career pathway is about consolidating general cyber security knowledge on top of the foundational IT and networking skills acquired in the earlier stages. 

Here, individuals learn to comprehensively secure systems, networks, and data, exploring various cyber security-specific skills. This stage is crucial for building a robust base in cyber security, preparing individuals for the more specialized roles ahead.

1. Cyber Security Analyst Job Description

Cyber Security Analysts handle security issues, design secure networks, audit policy compliance, create breach response and internal policies, and plan for disaster recovery. Knowledge of cyber forensics may also be required for some roles, and some of these tasks may fall under a specialized role or be shared with the analyst wearing several hats.

Stage

This position typically falls into Stage 3 of the cyber security career path, requiring foundational IT, networking knowledge, and specialized security skills. More senior analyst positions would appear in higher stages. However, many junior or entry-level cyber security roles carry the title Cyber Security Analyst.

Responsibilities

  • Monitoring network and system activities, spotting potential threats
  • Analyzing log files to separate real threats from false alarms
  • Handling security issues or delegating them to specific security teams
  • Developing secure networks and infrastructures
  • Gathering digital evidence

Skills

  • Network security
  • Threat analysis
  • Critical thinking and practical communication abilities
  • Familiarity with security tools like Splunk, Snort, Wireshark, Elastic, ArcSight, QRadar

Certifications

Demand and Salary

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for cyber security analysts is expected to expand by 32% from 2022 to 2032, which is significantly above the average for all jobs. Annually, an average of 16,800 positions for IT security analysts are anticipated.

Salary range: $91K - $151K USD 

(**It is worth noting that this range is representative of Cyber Security Analyst positions held by those with roughly five years+ of experience. Entry-level positions for this role likely start in the $65K - $75K range.)

2. Cyber Security Auditor Job Description

Cyber Security Auditors are responsible for thoroughly examining all IT systems, practices, and operations to ensure they’re safe from cyber threats. Their audits assess the effectiveness of security measures, identify vulnerabilities, and recommend improvements.

Stage

This position typically falls into Stage 3 of the cyber security career path, requiring a solid understanding of various cyber security aspects and the ability to perform in-depth audits, identify vulnerabilities, ensure compliance, and recommend improvements.

Responsibilities

  • Assess the security of IT systems, identifying and prioritizing risks
  • Ensure compliance with regulations (GDPR, HIPAA, ISO 27001) and document findings
  • Verify the effectiveness of implemented security measures
  • Train staff on cyber security best practices and technologies

Skills

  • Knowledge of various programming languages
  • Familiarity with software development practices
  • Network security expertise
  • Cryptography
  • Proficiency in penetration testing
  • Auditing skills
  • Risk analysis
  • Data analysis skills
  • Analytical problem-solving
  • Clear communication of technical issues to non-experts
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Ethical integrity

Certifications

Demand and Salary

The demand for Cyber Security Auditors is high due to the increasing number of cyber-attacks and the growing importance of data protection. As organizations increasingly prioritize protecting their data and systems, the need for professionals who can evaluate and improve security measures has grown. 

Salary range: $96K - $159K USD

Stage 4: Advanced Cyber Security Generalist Jobs

Positions as advanced generalist cyber security professionals usually encompass managerial roles that necessitate a comprehensive understanding of cyber security frameworks and standards, regulations, and compliance specific to various industries, along with proficient communication and leadership capabilities. 

3. Cyber Security Architect Job Description

Cyber Security Architects are management-level professionals in charge of developing and maintaining an organization's computer and network security infrastructure. They work to create security frameworks that are resilient to data breaches, align with business goals, and comply with regulatory standards. 

Stage: 

This position typically falls into Stage 4 or 5 of the cyber security career path. This expert-level position demands years of experience in IT security, with professionals usually advancing from roles like security analyst, engineer, or consultant. 

Responsibilities

  • Design IT solutions to meet security standards and goals
  • Manage Identity and Access Management (IAM) security architecture
  • Mitigate risks and ensure compliance with GDPR and HIPAA
  • Integrate security into operations and update incident plans
  • Keep up with security trends to improve defenses

Skills

  • Information and IT security knowledge
  • Computer science expertise
  • Proficiency in cloud services (AWS and Azure)
  • Firewall and network security skills
  • Solution architecture understanding
  • Vulnerability analysis capabilities

Certifications

Demand and Salary

The demand for Security Architects is strong, driven by ongoing cyber threats. However, there are fewer opportunities given its advanced, senior-level status compared to roles like Security Analyst.

Salary range: $135K - $218K USD

4. Cyber Security Specialist Job Description

Cyber Security Specialists are responsible for implementing, monitoring, and enhancing security measures for an organization's information systems. They identify vulnerabilities, defend against malicious attacks, and respond to security breaches.

Stage

This position typically falls into Stage 4 of the cyber security career path. These professionals are recognized as proficient in their field, capable of addressing sophisticated threats and leading significant security efforts within their organizations.

Responsibilities

  • Conduct scans and monitor traffic to identify vulnerabilities and threats
  • Handle incident response and enforce security policies
  • Implement firewalls and antivirus software and manage user access in line with company policies
  • Train staff on security best practices and awareness

Skills

  • Information security expertise
  • Skills in identifying vulnerabilities
  • Understanding of information systems and computer science
  • Auditing experience
  • Ability to analyze security requirements
  • Operating systems knowledge
  • Risk analysis and management proficiency

Certifications

Demand and Salary

As cyber security becomes a critical concern across all sectors, Cyber Security Specialists are sought after in both the public and private sectors.

Salary range: $74K - $137K USD

5. Cyber Security Consultant Job Description

Cyber Security Consultants are specialists working with organizations to assess, develop, and implement cyber security strategies that effectively safeguard information assets. They are tasked with identifying vulnerabilities, recommending solutions for security improvement, and sometimes overseeing the implementation of these solutions. 

Stage

This position typically falls into Stage 4 of the cyber security career path. It’s an interesting job for individuals with a broad understanding of cyber security issues, trends, and solutions who are skilled at applying this knowledge in a consultative capacity to solve complex security problems.

Responsibilities

  • Evaluate client IT for vulnerabilities and standard compliance
  • Create tailored cyber security strategies for client objectives
  • Guide and support the implementation of security measures and response plans
  • Offer continuous training and advice to boost client security awareness and tackle new threats

Skills

  • Auditing expertise
  • Physical security knowledge
  • Crisis management skills
  • De-escalation techniques
  • Understanding of merchandising
  • Proficiency with cloud services (AWS and Microsoft Azure)
  • Solid foundation in computer science

Certifications

Demand and Salary

Security consultants are crucial for crafting innovative defenses against complex and frequent cyberattacks, with high demand for their expertise in protecting vital information and networks.

Salary range: $109K - $197K USD

Stage 4: Cyber Security Specialist Jobs

Cyber Security Specialists dedicate themselves to gaining expertise in one or two specific domains within the field. Success in a specialist role demands a mastery of technical skills and a solid grasp of intricate computing subjects. 

Such positions necessitate honing a skill set tailored to excel in a particular organizational setting, such as threat hunting, digital forensics, penetration testing, or malware analysis. 

In these roles, you become the go-to expert sought out by advanced generalists for insights and guidance in your area of expertise. 

6. Penetration Tester Job Description

Penetration Testers are tasked with conducting authorized simulated cyber attacks to identify and assess vulnerabilities in an organization's IT infrastructure. 

They use automated and manual testing techniques to uncover security weaknesses in networks, systems, web applications, and other digital assets.

Stage

This position spans Stages 3, 4, or 5 of the cyber security career path, depending on the depth of expertise and the level of responsibility. 

At Stage 3, pen testers are in a junior role. In Stage 4, they tackle advanced projects and possibly lead teams. They may begin specializing in one type of pen testing, such as web apps or red teaming. By Stage 5, they're shaping field strategies and developing new technologies.

Responsibilities

  • Conduct penetration tests to identify vulnerabilities across systems, networks, and applications
  • Evaluate the impact of security flaws and document findings with improvement recommendations
  • Work with IT and security teams on mitigation strategies and develop tools to improve testing efficiency
  • Train the team on ethical hacking techniques 

Skills

  • Proficiency in network, system vulnerabilities, and penetration testing
  • Knowledge of specific computer languages (Python, Golang)
  • Ethical identification and exploitation of security gaps
  • Creative mitigation strategies
  • Clear communication of findings and solutions

Certifications

Demand and Salary

With the escalating complexity and critical nature of networks, applications, and data management, these systems increasingly attract threats and become vulnerable. Penetration testers leverage their extensive technical skills to mimic potential attackers and protect these systems.

Salary range: $88K - $160K USD

7. Incident and Intrusion Analyst Job Description

Incident and Intrusion Analysts handle ongoing or past cyber security attacks, investigating to identify the attack's origin while implementing security actions to reduce any harm or future risks. Their work is crucial in minimizing the damage from cyber attacks and ensuring that potential threats are promptly neutralized.

Stage

This position typically falls into Stage 4 of the cyber security career path. Commonly known as CSIRT engineers or intrusion analysts, incident responders leverage computer forensic tools to investigate digital anomalies, aiming to uncover breaches or advanced persistent threats in organizational systems.

Responsibilities

  • Monitor networks for security incidents and manage response efforts, including documentation and reporting
  • Continuously assess IT infrastructure for vulnerabilities and conduct forensic analyses of breached systems
  • Implement security measures based on investigation outcomes and best practices
  • Partner with IT and cyber security teams to enhance security, reporting findings to management

Skills

  • Incident response, cyber security, and computer science expertise
  • Proficiency in SIEM, operating systems, and information systems
  • Skills in firewall management and Linux
  • Cyber threat intelligence knowledge

Certifications

Demand and Salary

The role of Incident and Intrusion Analysts is critical in various industries, particularly those handling sensitive data or operating critical infrastructure. 

Salary range: $62K - $97K USD 

Stage 5: Expert Governance Jobs

Stage 5 in the cyber security career path, focusing on expert governance jobs, represents a pinnacle role for individuals who’ve mastered the intricacies of cyber security and now focus on the strategic oversight and governance of cyber security policies, frameworks, and practices within an organization. 

8. Cyber Security Manager Job Description

The Cyber Security Manager is responsible for leading the organization’s cyber security initiatives, managing the team, and developing and implementing comprehensive cyber security policies and procedures. They also ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and manage the response to security incidents.

Stage

This position falls into Stage 5 of the cyber security career path. This advanced stage emphasizes leadership in strategic planning, oversight of cyber security operations, and developing and implementing comprehensive security policies and procedures.

Responsibilities

  • Lead the cyber security team and strategize to align with company goals and address threats
  • Enforce cyber security policies for regulatory compliance and perform risk assessments
  • Coordinate incident response and continually update response strategies
  • Conduct employee training on cyber security and oversee the adoption of defensive technologies

Skills

  • Expertise in information security, systems, and assurance
  • Skills in project management and proficiency with Linux and network security
  • Knowledge of the NIST and Risk Management Framework
  • Familiarity with SAP

Certifications

Demand and Salary

The job demand for Cyber Security Managers is favorable, with demand set to rise as security threats grow in both frequency and complexity.

Salary range: $136K - $239K USD

9. Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Job Description

The CISO is the top executive responsible for an organization’s information security, leading the development and implementation of a security program that protects the organization from security threats and cyber attacks. 

Stage

This position falls into Stage 5 of the cyber security career path. This executive-level position demands strategic oversight of an organization's information security, guiding policy, and ensuring compliance with security standards and regulations.

Responsibilities

  • Lead a team of cyber security experts and manage technology implementations for system and data security
  • Develop and enforce a security program addressing organizational needs and new threats
  • Document risks, ensure policy compliance, and handle incident responses
  • Oversee the security budget and strategize with stakeholders on security measures

Skills

  • Experience in business and information security management
  • Expertise in cyber security, Linux, and networking
  • Knowledge of NIST, ISO, SANS, GDPR standards
  • Skills in Secure SDLC, DevSecOps, and automation

Certifications

Demand and Salary

Qualified CISOs have access to a wide range of prestigious and engaging opportunities. Salaries are among the highest in the IT field, reflecting the responsibility and expertise required for the role. 

Salary range: $146K - $273K USD

Stage 5: Expert Specialist Jobs

Stage 5 in the cyber security career path, focusing on Expert Specialist Jobs, represents the zenith of expertise within a specific cyber security niche. Professionals are distinguished by their depth of knowledge, experience, and skill in online security. 

They are recognized as thought leaders and subject matter experts, often contributing to advancing the field through research, innovation, and the development of new technologies or methodologies.

10. Cyber Security Engineer Job Description

Cyber Security Engineers are responsible for safeguarding computer networks and systems in an organization against cyber threats. This role involves a proactive approach to securing systems, including developing policies and procedures for data security and responding to and mitigating security breaches.

Stage

Falls into Stage 5 of the cyber security career path, demanding deep technical expertise, leadership in security solution design and implementation, and the ability to address complex security challenges.

Responsibilities

  • Design and implement defenses against cyber threats, conduct vulnerability assessments
  • Manage and mitigate security breaches, monitor for risks, and enforce security policies
  • Train staff in security awareness and update on cyber security trends to strengthen defenses

Skills

  • Expertise in handling malicious code and risk assessment
  • Knowledge of computer forensics
  • Ability to conduct security evaluations and implement best practices
  • Antivirus and firewall systems management for access control

Certifications

Demand and Salary

Like their peers, Cyber Security Engineers are highly sought after. Salaries increase with industry experience, especially for those with over two decades in the cyber security field.

Salary range: $112K - $189K USD

Conclusion

Cyber security offers a diverse range of career paths, each with unique responsibilities, required skills, and stages in the career ladder. 

For those looking to embark on or advance their career in cyber security, StationX provides comprehensive support through the Accelerator Program, including one-on-one mentorship and access to over 1,000 courses and labs. 

Furthermore, we offer customized career roadmaps, mastermind groups, and a wealth of resources to ensure aspiring cyber security professionals have all they need to succeed. 

Whether you’re at the beginning of your career or looking to advance to a more senior role, we equip you with the knowledge, skills, and support network to achieve your career goals.

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