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What Does a Security Compliance Analyst Do?

Written by: University of Tulsa   •  Mar 26, 2024
Security Analyst Looking at Paperwork While Doing Work on a Laptop.

What Does a Security Compliance Analyst Do?

Modern organizations are rapidly evolving, and they depend on data and technology to facilitate their basic business functions. However, laws and regulations that apply to data and cybersecurity evolve just as quickly, and this makes compliance difficult for many businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. As a result, they rely on professional security compliance analysts to help them navigate the complexities. 

Those interested in pursuing an online master’s degree in cybersecurity and curious about the potential career opportunities should understand what a compliance analyst does and how this role is vital to the success of modern organizations. 

What’s Security Compliance?

Security compliance can be described as the processes involved in ensuring that an organization meets industry standards or customer requirements for security. There are several different types of requirements to consider, including legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements. A security compliance analyst designs and implements security management systems that keep track of objectives and controls. 

As of 2024, the three most important cybersecurity laws in the United States are the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which applies mainly to health care organizations; the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), which requires financial institutions to disclose their information-sharing practices to their clients; and the Homeland Security Act, including the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), which recognizes that information security is vital to the American economy and national security. 

Key Responsibilities for Security Compliance Analysts

What does a security compliance analyst do on a day-to-day basis, and how do they improve organizations’ security? Though the exact responsibilities can vary from one employer or project to the next, most security compliance analysts perform some or all of the following tasks regularly:

  • Planning and leading organization-wide security audits to ensure compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), HIPAA, and various other mandates
  • Working with information technology (IT) departments to coordinate audits, both internally and externally
  • Developing, preparing, and reviewing documents related to compliance and assessments
  • Scheduling and performing vulnerability tests and developing strategies to mitigate any weaknesses discovered
  • Designing remediation efforts when security deficiencies are found
  • Coordinating annual SOX and Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16 (SSAE 16) audits for the IT organization
  • Ensuring that publicly traded companies disclose material cybersecurity incidents to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as they occur and ensuring that they provide detailed information regarding their risk management and governance to the SEC annually
  • Planning and maintaining compliance activities according to existing policies and standards as well as industry regulations
  • Pointing out the shortcomings associated with existing platform security and compliance processes and developing ways to address them
  • Working with third parties and consultants as needed for independent security audits

Security Compliance Analyst Salary and Job Outlook

Information security analysts, including security compliance analysts, earned a median annual salary of about $112,000 as of May 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those working in the information sector earned the highest salaries, at about $131,910 annually. Those working in the management, scientific, and technical consulting services sector earned less at about $108,440 annually. 

The BLS also predicts employment in this field will rise by 32% between 2022 and 2032, much faster than most other occupations. As cyber attacks become more frequent, and as laws and regulations surrounding security grow more complex, organizations will rely more heavily on security compliance analysts to find solutions and remain compliant. 

How to Become a Security Compliance Analyst

Much of what a security compliance analyst does is necessary in every industry, from finance and health care to manufacturing and retail. Aspiring security compliance analysts should choose an industry they enjoy, and then follow the guidance below to pursue this exciting career path. 

Earn the Appropriate Degree

Although security compliance analysts can gain entry-level cybersecurity jobs with a bachelor’s degree, many employers prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree in cybersecurity. The advanced knowledge and skills offered in a master’s degree program include sociotechnical system security, human and ethical factors in cyber attacks, defensive cybersecurity technologies, network security design, and cryptography — all of which serve security compliance analysts well in their careers. 

Gain Experience in the Chosen Industry

After earning a degree, security compliance analysts can step into an open role in their chosen industry to gain on-the-job experience. As candidates gain experience, they can move on to roles with additional responsibilities, eventually taking on managerial, supervisory, or leadership roles. 

Hone Important Skills

Employers look for security compliance analysts who understand cloud computing and security management, advanced information technology architecture, encryption, and various forms of network and web technology. Candidates should also understand security administration processes, metrics and reporting, data access and information systems procedures and policies, and general auditing principles. 

Obtain Optional Credentials

There are no licensure or certification requirements for security compliance analysts, but many employers will require candidates to have a current top secret/sensitive compartmented information (TS/SCI)  clearance with a polygraph. Beyond this, several optional credentials can enhance hireability. These credentials include Microsoft Certified: Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals and Microsoft Certified: Cybersecurity Architect Expert. 

Ensure Organizations’ Regulatory Compliance as a Security Compliance Analyst

Understanding what a security compliance analyst does is a vital first step toward a fulfilling career in virtually every industry, and an online Master of Science (M.S.) in Cyber Security from The University of Tulsa can help you reach your goals. Courses such as Defensive Cyber Security Technologies and System Security and Cryptography, along with several exciting electives, are designed to prepare you to protect tomorrow’s biggest organizations from cybercrime. Learn more about how to get started right away. 

Recommended Readings

How to Become a Cybersecurity Specialist 

What Are the Biggest Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities?

What’s Cybersecurity Compliance?


CompTIA, What Is Security Compliance?

Indeed, “How to Become a Compliance Analyst”

KnowledgeHut, Cyber Security Laws and Regulations of 2024

Microsoft, Microsoft Certified: Cybersecurity Architect Expert

Microsoft, Microsoft Certified: Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals

Salesforce, Discover the Skills of a Cybersecurity Compliance Analyst

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Security Analysts

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC Adopts Rules on Cybersecurity, Risk Management, Strategy, Governance, and Incidence Disclosure by Public Companies

VelvetJobs, Information Security & Compliance Analyst Job Description

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