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SOC Analyst Career Path

SOC Analysts are the front line of defensive security operations and the most in-demand job in cybersecurity. They are responsible for receiving, analyzing, and triaging security tickets as part of an organization’s Security Operations Center. This career path is designed to provide you with foundational knowledge and key skills required to succeed as an entry-level SOC Analyst. Over the course of 20 courses and hands-on virtual labs, you will learn Defensive Security Fundamentals, Log Analysis, Network-Based Detection, and Host-Based Detection. Completing this career path and the associated Assessments will prepare you for pursuing a career as a SOC Analyst and further specializing in advanced skills like Threat Intelligence, Threat Hunting, Incident Response, Malware Analysis, and Digital Forensics.

Purpose Statement

Cybrary Career Paths are comprehensive training programs designed to prepare you for the most in-demand roles in the cybersecurity workforce. Each path follows a Learn, Practice, Prove model and includes different activity types aligned to key topics within the path’s security domain. As you progress through the path, your progress will be measured in real time using Experience Points (XP) that serve as a comprehensive capability score for each topic. Upon completing all of the requirements for a path, you will be rewarded with a shareable digital badge via Credly.


What Are Some SOC Analyst Roles and Responsibilities?

Most SOC analysts plan, monitor, and implement security measures to protect an organization’s computer systems, networks, and data. To do this, SOC analysts must constantly educate themselves on new intelligence, including adversaries' practices and tactics, to anticipate and prevent security threats and breaches.

In addition to the above, as an SOC analyst, you will likely be required to:

  • Provide threat analysis and security logs for security devices
  • Analyze and respond to hardware and software weaknesses and vulnerabilities
  • Investigate, document, and report security problems and emerging security trends
  • Coordinate with other analysts and departments regarding system and network security when needed
  • Create, implement, and maintain security protocols and controls, including the protection of digital files and data against unauthorized access
  • Maintain data and monitor security access
  • Perform risk analyses, vulnerability testing, and security assessments
  • Perform security audits, internal and external
  • Anticipate threats, incidents, and alerts to help prevent the likelihood of them occurring
  • Manage network intrusion detection systems
  • Analyze all security breaches to determine the root causes
  • Make recommendations of countermeasures and install approved tools
  • Coordinate security plans with relevant vendors
  • What Are Some SOC Analyst Job Requirements?

    Each organization that seeks to hires an SOC analyst will have unique experience requirements for candidates. However, most organizations require that SOC analyst candidates have earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science or another relevant field, as well as at least one year of IT work experience.

    Some of the other common requirements for SOC analyst positions are:

  • Knowledge of all security policies
  • Training or educating network users about security protocols
  • Administration of network firewalls
  • Troubleshooting and problem-solving skills
  • Identification of security areas that can be improved, and the implementation of solutions to those areas
  • Dependability and flexibility, being on-call or available outside of regular work hours
  • Some of the common technical knowledge requirements include:

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
  • SQL
  • TCP/IP, computer networking, routing and switching
  • C, C++, C#, Java or PHP programming languages
  • IDS/IPS, penetration and vulnerability testing
  • Firewall and intrusion detection/prevention protocols
  • Windows, UNIX and Linux operating systems
  • Network protocols and packet analysis tools
  • Anti-virus and anti-malware
  • Various certifications including Security+, CEH, GIAC, CASP, CISSP
  • What is a Typical SOC Analyst Job Description?

    As a security operations center analyst, your primary duty is to ensure that the organization’s digital assets are secure and protected from unauthorized access. You must protect both the online and on-premise infrastructures, monitor metrics and data to identify suspicious activity, and identify and mitigate risks before adversaries breach your system. Some adversaries will still breach your system, and a SOC analyst fights the frontline battle.

    Additionally, SOC analysts must generate reports for managers and IT administrators to evaluate the effectiveness of current security protocols. Then, you will make any necessary modifications to establish a more secure network. In some roles, your duties will include creating training programs and curriculum to educate the organization’s employees and network users on proper security policies and procedures.

    Candidates for the SOC analyst position must have analytical skills, communication skills, and the desire to stay up-to-date on the latest technology. In this role, you may need to sift through huge amounts of information to identify threats or other security issues. Threats and attacks can happen at any time, day or night, so you may need to work nights and weekends.

    A Day in the Life of an SOC Analyst

    No two days are alike in a security operations center – adversaries don’t follow a specific schedule, and how much time you have to spend on an individual incident can depend on many factors. You may be able to circumvent an attack quickly in some cases, while others might take much more time, attention, and work.

    On a daily basis, you will need to ascertain the weaknesses of hardware, software, and network infrastructure and establish ways to protect it. But the nature of information security means each day may bring different situations, tasks, and challenges, so you’ll rarely feel bored. When a threat or an attack arises, your team will likely work nonstop to expose the attack, shut down access to your systems, resolve the issue, work to prevent the same type of attack from happening in the future, and document and communicate appropriate information to management or clients.

    SOC analysts may need to work odd hours, outside of the normal workday, to perform the necessary incident response to protect the digital assets of the organization.

    Frequently Asked Questions
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    What Will I Learn?
    Focused on the core IT competencies that cybersecurity professionals need to succeed in any career path.
    Defensive Security
    Focused on trying to find the bad guys. Topics such as threat intelligence, threat hunting, network monitoring, incident response. Defensive security is a reactive measure taken once a vulnerability is found through prevention, detection, and response.
    Engineering and Operations
    Focused on building and operating information systems.
    Governance, Risk, and Compliance
    Focused on the core IT competencies that cybersecurity professionals need to succeed in any career path.
    Leadership and Management
    Focused on program design and oversight. Covers project and program management.
    Offensive Security
    Focused on validating security controls by trying to break them (i.e. penetration testing or ethical hacking). Topics such as Kali Linux, metasploit, scanning, and privilege escalation. Offensive security seeks out the problem or vulnerability through ethical hacking and finds a solution to disable the operation.
    Offensive Security
    Focused on the core IT competencies that cybersecurity professionals need to succeed in any career path.
    Path Outline

    Course Outline

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