Information risk analyst careers

What is an information security risk analyst? 

Have you ever wondered what an information security risk analyst is, how you can become one or how much you can earn in this profession? Here is a quick overview of the information security analyst career path and its promising job outlook. 

Information security risk analysts often work in an organization’s security team or at a third party that provides risk management services. One common type of risk professional is a cybersecurity auditor. Their primary role is to conduct objective, fact-based risk assessments on new and existing systems and share findings with all stakeholders within the information system. 

Information risk analyst careers

What does an information security risk analyst do?

Information risk analysts conduct objective, fact-based risk assessments on existing and new systems and technologies. They then communicate findings to all stakeholders within the information system. They also identify opportunities to improve the organization's risk posture and continuously monitor risk tolerance.

Information security risk analyst job roles 

Like many cybersecurity roles, risk analysts have varying titles depending on the organization and the role's focus. Here’s a list of related titles and roles to look for as you explore this role.

Related job titles: 

  • Information systems security officer (ISSO )
  • Cybersecurity auditor
  • Cybersecurity assessor
  • Security analyst
  • Risk analyst
  • Security controls assessor 

NICE work roles: 

  • Security control assessor 
  • Systems security analyst 

Information risk analyst job description

An information risk analyst either works as a staff member for an organization or a consultant, potentially working for various companies at any given time. 

The typical responsibilities of an information risk analyst vary based on the needs of an organization. As Infosec Skills author Chris Stevens puts it, an information risk manager can be expected to: 

  • Assist with information security and privacy risk management 
  • Analyze organizations’ activities to see where they have inherent risk
  • Help system owners and mission owners make informed risk-related decisions 

Information security risk analyst FAQs

An information security risk analyst is responsible for helping organizations have the information they need to effectively manage cyber risk. Due to that level of responsibility, it is typically not an entry-level role. 

What is cybersecurity analysis?

Cybersecurity analysis refers to the examination of security risks to an organization’s data and information systems. Cybersecurity risk analysts first catalog all IT systems and resources, then look at areas where the information or organization is the most vulnerable. Potential risks are listed and rated so the company knows where to allocate resources to prevent cyber incidents. The analysis of risk is done regularly to identify new potential risks. 

What skills should a risk analyst have?

An information security analyst should possess a combination of soft and hard skills to do their job effectively. Although the broad skill set may vary depending on the risk analyst’s experience and position, some skills are helpful for entering the field.

Soft skills:

  • Communication 
  • Analytical thinking 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Creativity 
  • Detail oriented 

Hard skills:

  • Information systems 
  • Servers 
  • Information infrastructure 
  • Databases 
  • Information security 

If you’re an aspiring analyst, you can acquire the skills you lack via risk analyst training and certification.

What education does a security risk analyst need to have?

Does a risk analyst need a degree? Although some organizations are shifting away from degree requirements, a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information security or a related field may still be required. 

What tools and frameworks does a risk analyst need to know?

A risk analyst must know the key frameworks to address specific risk areas. Some examples include:

  • NIST SP 800-30/39/53 
  • ISO/IEC 27005 
  • ISO/IEC 27001 

Knowledge of additional frameworks like ISACA’s Risk IT Framework may also help assess risk. Risk analysts also rely on tools to do their job effectively. Here are a few tools you should know about:

  • SpiraPlan: A tool to help users align key risk management techniques with strategic objectives and monitor internal risk. 
  • ZenGRC: One of the best tools for evaluating risks across systems, connections, and business divisions.
  • SAI360: This tool maps risk to requirements, automates assessments, and improves compliance.

Besides the above, it's helpful to know about vulnerability scanning and log management tools, security content automation protocol (SCAP) and SCAP compliance checker (SCC).

How long does it take to become a risk analyst?

It usually takes 4-6 years for an aspiring risk analyst to complete the requirements for entering the profession without any experience. If you are transferring from another IT, risk or cybersecurity role, you may need less training. Read our How to break into the field of security risk management blog post for more. 

Certifications can help accelerate your information risk analyst career. ISACA certs are popular in this field and align with needing 3-5 years of experience to qualify. Look at CISA and CRISC in particular.

How much does an information security risk analyst make?

According to, the average information security risk analyst salary in the United States is $115,000 per year. Earnings can also vary based on the job location and other factors. For a comprehensive view, check out The information security risk analyst salary guide. 

Where to apply for security risk analyst jobs?

You can apply for security risk analyst jobs on Glassdoor, Monster, Indeed and LinkedIn. Cybersecurity-focused job boards like and ClearedJobs are also good places to find potential job openings. Plus, you can join cybersecurity groups like ISACA or ISSA and connect with other cybersecurity professionals on popular discussion boards to network and find more work positions.

When you land an interview, prepare with the top 12 information security risk analyst questions you need to know. 

What industries need security risk analysts?

Many industries need security risk analysts. A sample of a few popular industries are below:

  • Insurance: Insurance companies rely on information security analysts to manage their systems’ resilience against third-party threats. 
  • Telecommunications: Telco companies need risk analysts to audit their systems’ security against routing and DDoS attacks. 
  • Finance: Considering that financial organizations hold large amounts of sensitive data, it’s common for them to recruit cybersecurity analysts to conduct risk assessments. 
  • Healthcare: Healthcare organizations hire information security analysts to audit, maintain and manage client databases. 
  • Manufacturing: Manufacturing companies hire information security analysts to assist with risk management of technology-related vulnerabilities. 

How to become a risk analyst

What are some of the first steps you can take to get on the risk analyst job path? John Bree, Neo Group Inc. Senior Vice President and Partner, advised starting with good old-fashioned research when he was on the Cyber Work Podcast.

Finding your risk career path

Bree recommends you find an online course that can give you an understanding of the role. Look for ones by people who have been in or have practical exposure to the cybersecurity industry. Employers are looking for candidates with qualifications and hands-on experience. 

“The certifications help you have at least credentials that get you into a starter position at an organization,” says Bree, who recommends deciding on the field you want to pursue, such as finance, healthcare or technology, and then researching to find out which certifications can help you get a strong baseline. 

Information risk analyst requirements

Are certifications required? Yes, relevant certifications can be key to validating your expertise and landing a risk analyst role. Here are a few popular ones you may want to consider pursuing.

Cybersecurity Interview Tips ebook Image

Information risk analyst interview questions

  • How do you define risk, threat, and vulnerability on a system? 
  • What is a three-way handshake? 
  • What are the steps to successful data loss prevention control? 
  • What methods are used to strengthen user authentication? 

Read our Information risk analyst interview article for answers. And if you want to prepare even more, download our ebook: Cybersecurity interview tips: How to stand out, get hired and advance your career. 

Information security risk analyst courses

Training is vital for succeeding as an information risk analyst. Live boot camps and on-demand risk analyst courses provide expert, guided instruction to build your knowledge and skills. A few popular options are listed below: 

Free & self-study information security risk analyst resources

Transitioning from your current role to a security risk analyst position can seem daunting, but don’t let the fear stop you from the leap. As risk analyst and Infosec Skills author Chris Steven says: “Look at where you are now and where you want to go. Then see what’s out there and work those jobs to build the credentials.” 

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