Cyber Security Jobs, Roles, and Requirements

Security specialists, analysts, and Web application developers are usually required to hold a bachelor's degree in an area such as computer science, information systems, or programming. Some positions require only an associate degree supported by relevant practical experience. Acquiring certifications, such as the Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) by (ISC), can also give individuals an opportunity to gain entry-level technical security positions.

General competencies often required for all job roles:

  • Possess strong communication skills, both written and orally.
  • Ability to multitask.
  • Solve complex problems through analysis, experience, research and technical detective work, and problem solving.
  • Participate as a strong team member and individual contributor.
  • Maintain confidentiality regarding privacy and intellectual property rights.
  • Adhere to ethics and codes of conduct.

Computer/Systems Security Specialist

Technical Competencies

Knowledge of computer hardware and software installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting. Ability to maintain and monitor firewalls and other network defense technologies and detect abnormal behaviors. Knowledge of data backup procedures and restoration testing. Knowledge of incident response procedures.

  • Maintain and troubleshoot operating system hardware and software.
  • Install, remove, relocate, test, and troubleshoot problems with servers, workstations, and other IT equipment.
  • Apply software patches to operating systems and applications.
  • Implement computer network security defenses.
  • Assess a computer system's security vulnerabilities using appropriate resources.
  • Use standard software tools to detect attempted security breaches of computer systems.
  • Follow data backup and restore procedures.
  • Work with IT staff to maintain and adhere to business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
  • Participate as a team member to respond to cyberattacks and network breaches.

Forensic Analyst/Specialist

Technical Competencies

Proficiency in digital data gathering and analysis techniques, to include computers, networks, various operating systems, e-mail, and mobile devices. Ability to adhere to a chain of custody. Knowledge of creating and maintaining case logs and generated case reports. Knowledge of incident response procedures.

  • Work with investigators to gather data and digital evidence onsite and in the lab.
  • Conduct examinations of digital evidence and prepare evidence for trial.
  • Write technical reports detailing how computer evidence was discovered and all steps taken during the retrieval process.
  • Participate as a team member to respond to cyberattacks and network breaches.

Information Security Analyst / Data Security Analyst (entry level)

Technical Competencies

Knowledge of complex technical IT and networking systems. Knowledge of malware and other threats. Proficiency in analyzing complex systems and security assessment/audit results. Knowledge of incident response procedures.

  • Test existing security measures to ensure the integrity of the data, software, and systems.
  • Reconcile findings from system assessments, audits, and vulnerability scans.
  • Monitor, analyze, and solve security incidents.
  • Analyze client systems, report on security and performance, and provide recommendations.
  • Participate as a team member to respond to cyberattacks and network breaches.

IT Security, Risk, and Compliance Analyst (entry level)

Technical Competencies

Familiarity with security policy frameworks and ability to apply appropriate framework. Understanding of security controls that protect an organization's systems and networks. Knowledge of general governance, compliance, and audit concepts. Ability to apply risk management principles, assessments, and metrics. Knowledge of local, state, and federal regulations that affect the organization.

  • Develop and publish information security policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines based on best practices and compliance requirements.
  • Coordinate with IT staff to develop business impact analysis, business continuity, and disaster recovery procedures and documentation.
  • Review control compliance on an ongoing basis.
  • Develop strategy for ongoing controls and risk programs.
  • Understand IT change processes.
  • Deliver risk management, metrics, and reporting
  • Assist in review of security controls.

Network Security Specialist

Technical Competencies

Knowledge of complex technical networking systems. Ability to evaluate and maintain complex technical systems. Knowledge of intrusion detection and prevention systems, and ability to recognize attack and network breaches. Sufficient knowledge of technology and resources available to resolve network operating problems. Knowledge of incident response procedures.

  • Work closely with IT staff to select and install firewalls and data encryption programs.
  • Monitor networks for security breaches and analyze network traffic.
  • Troubleshoot network performance issues.
  • Provide network security guidance on critical vulnerabilities.
  • Work with IT staff to maintain and adhere to business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
  • Participate as a team member to respond to cyberattacks and network breaches.
  • Educate network users and other employees about computer and network security.

Web Application Developer

Technical Competencies

Knowledge of programming and scripting languages. Proficiency in applying security techniques to application development. Understanding of secure code development.

  • Create new Web applications and maintain existing Web applications.
  • Manage SDLC processes and ensure ongoing compliance with SDLC processes.
  • Participate in defining requirements, programming, testing, and documentation through the use of quality assurance concepts and best practices.
  • Document test plans, testing procedures, or test results.
  • Troubleshoot issues, perform root cause analysis, and implement solutions.
  • Communicate with customers and provide software technical support.