Cyber Analytics: it’s a swiftly growing field that melds cybersecurity with sophisticated data analysis tools and skills, allowing threats to a company’s digital assets to be sealed off with greater precision and effectiveness. It brings a crucial new dimension to the fight against hackers and other information-age adversaries.
But who is hiring Cyber Analysts? With a degree in this area, where should you be sending your resume and looking for available openings?
The Big Players
Major defense contractors with divisions spanning multiple industries have been ramping up their cyber analytical edge. Boeing Intelligence and Analytics, a division of the aerospace giant, primarily serves the U.S. intelligence community, helping its customers “understand the strengths and vulnerabilities of potential adversaries.” BI&A is located in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, near the Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) airport.
Lockheed Martin recently established a new Cyber Works Centre in the United Kingdom, with a mission of fighting cyber crime and supporting the British government’s National Cyber Security Strategy. But you don’t need to move to the U.K. to be part of Lockheed’s cyber operations: the contracting giant has made cyber operations a mainstay at home as well, with cyber analyst positions offered nationwide. Desired skills vary by position, and can include proficiency in data modeling, familiarity with cybersecurity principles, understanding of computer hardware and software, and experience with encryption, malware analysis, and computer forensics.
Based in Linthicum, MD, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (NGMS) boasts nearly 30,000 employees, with offices in 50 states and more than 20 countries. Its activities cover everything from “creating a citywide wireless network for our first responders, to protecting our nation from cyber threats, to building software-defined radios that change how our military communicates.” One of four Northrop Grumman business sectors, NGMS has a Cyber Analytics Division that is pioneering new ways to strengthen the company’s mandate of helping to defend the United States and its global allies.
Landing a job at one of the big contractors can be a challenge for new cyber analytics graduates, as these companies are often looking for candidates with significant professional experience. So how does a new entrant in the field looking to build a career get that expertise?
According to Sarah Alspaw, Director of Career Development and Student Success at Capitol Technology University, the big players are supported by hundreds of smaller subcontractors, and many of these provide an excellent way to get a foot in the door.
“You don’t hear their names so often, compared to the primary contractors, but a lot of the best opportunities are with these smaller organizations. Many of them are based in Howard County, Maryland, not far from our campus here at Capitol Technology University,” Alspaw said. “These subcontractors will often seek out a candidate who has one very specific set of skills – for example, systems analyst skills. That’s because the subcontractors need to show the primary contractor that they are able to meet specific requirements in the contract.”
How to connect with these smaller companies? “The local chamber of commerce is a good place to start,” Alspaw said. “Also, tech councils – such as the Chesapeake Tech Council and Howard Tech Council -- can be especially valuable in linking you up with local companies that aren’t household names.”
Interested in building a cyber analytics career, or adding analytics to your existing computer science or cybersecurity skill sets? Capitol offers a bachelor’s degree in cyber analytics, as well as an online master’s program tailored for working professionals. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!Tags: Cyber Analytics Data Analytics