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Cybersecurity Specialist

What is a Cybersecurity Specialist?

Using the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover), a cybersecurity specialist plans, implements, and monitors hardware and/or software security measures for information systems and operational infrastructures.

Cybersecurity specialists can expect to make an average salary of $104,500 annually (or $108,800 in total compensation package). The highest earners for this role can expect to see around $115,800 annually (or $121,400 in total compensation).

Salary Range

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50th Percentile
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Foundational Skills

Integrity, Initiative, Dependability, Communication, Basic Computer Competencies, Logic, Critical & Analytical Thinking, Science & Technology, Problem Solving & Decision Making, Teamwork, Detail Orientation. 

Occupational Skills

Computer Network Defense

Defensive measures to detect, respond, and protect information, information systems, and networks from threats.

Novice Level
  • Understand the motivation and processes of a bad actor who is gathering information on a network
Emerging Level
  • Apply techniques to prevent social engineering and tools of bad actors to detect and access network information

Proficient Level
  • Troubleshoot and diagnose while effectively utilizing detection tools to defend the network

Information Assurance

Methods and procedures that protect information systems and data by ensuring their availability, authentication, confidentiality, and integrity as well as the measure of common controls on information systems.

Novice Level
  • Understand the concept of data integrity and encryption as well as maintaining data consistency processes and procedures
Emerging Level
  • Implement the methodologies and security policies using encryption algorithms to maintain data integrity and data consistency

Proficient Level
  • Enforce assisting and developing, enforce security policy for data consistency

Information Systems and Network Security

Methods, tools, and procedures, including development of information security plans to prevent information systems vulnerabilities and to provide or restore security of information systems and network services.

Novice Level
  • Understand network and data system function, architecture, and topology
Emerging Level
  • Implement defense-in-depth using intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS), firewall, Access Control List (ACL)

Proficient Level
  • Evaluate and validate host/ network security systems and maintain policy

Infrastructure Design

Architecture and typology of software, hardware, and networks, including LANS, WANS, and telecommunications systems, their components and associated protocols and standards, and how they operate and integrate with one another and with associated controlling software.

Novice Level
  • Understand the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), Open System Interconnection Model (OSI), and different protocols that are used in each layer
Emerging Level
  • Implement different tools at different layers and how to use the protocols to analyze traffic flow on virtual and physical layers

Proficient Level
  • Detect intrusions to analyze and mitigate vulnerabilities in the network topology, including hacking techniques to find weaknesses in protocols
  • Improve bandwidth through routing protocols

Vulnerabilities Assessment

Principles, methods, and tools for assessing vulnerabilities and developing or recommending appropriate mitigation countermeasures.

Novice Level
  • Understand vulnerability of hardware and software using tools and methodologies to evaluate physical, virtual, and social environments
Emerging Level
  • Assess vulnerabilities of hardware and software using tools and methodologies to evaluate physical, virtual, and social environments

Proficient Level
  • Remedy and provide guidance to correct the vulnerabilities of the physical, virtual, and social environments

Cybersecurity Specialist

The pathway below represents an example career pathway in the ever-changing Digital Innovation Economy.

IT Support technician

Security Intelligence

Financial & Risk Analysis


Systems Engineering

Cybersecurity Specialist

Penetration & Vulnerability Tester

Cybersecurity Consultant

Cybersecurity Analyst


Experience + Training

Career Resources
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