NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework Work Roles
The table below provides a description of each of the Work Roles described in the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF). Each Work Role is identified by the Category and Specialty Area. Some of the Work Role descriptions originate with external documents (e.g. Committee on National Security Systems Instruction [CNSSI] 4009) and include that information in the description column.
Work Role Definition
Authorizing Official/Designating Representative
Senior official or executive with the authority to formally assume responsibility for operating an information system at an acceptable level of risk to organizational operations (including mission, functions, image, or reputation), organizational assets, individuals, other organizations, and the Nation (CNSSI 4009).
Security Control Assessor
Conducts independent comprehensive assessments of the management, operational, and technical security controls and control enhancements employed within or inherited by an information technology (IT) system to determine the overall effectiveness of the controls (as defined in NIST SP 800-37).
Develops, creates, maintains, and writes/codes new (or modifies existing) computer applications, software, or specialized utility programs.
Secure Software Assessor
Analyzes the security of new or existing computer applications, software, or specialized utility programs and provides actionable results.
Develops and maintains business, systems, and information processes to support enterprise mission needs; develops information technology (IT) rules and requirements that describe baseline and target architectures.
Designs enterprise and systems security throughout the development lifecycle; translates technology and environmental conditions (e.g., law and regulation) into security designs and processes.
Research & Development Specialist
Conducts software and systems engineering and software systems research in order to develop new capabilities, ensuring cybersecurity is fully integrated. Conducts comprehensive technology research to evaluate potential vulnerabilities in cyberspace systems.
Systems Requirements Planning
Consults with customers to evaluate functional requirements and translate functional requirements into technical solutions.
Test and Evaluation
Testing and Evaluation Specialist
Plans, prepares, and executes tests of systems to evaluate results against specifications and requirements as well as analyze/report test results.
Information Systems Security Developer
Designs, develops, tests, and evaluates information system security throughout the systems development lifecycle.
Designs, develops, tests, and evaluates information systems throughout the systems development lifecycle.
Operate and Maintain
Administers databases and/or data management systems that allow for the storage, query, and utilization of data.
Examines data from multiple disparate sources with the goal of providing new insight. Designs and implements custom algorithms, flow processes and layouts for complex, enterprise-scale data sets used for modeling, data mining, and research purposes.
Responsible for the management and administration of processes and tools that enable the organization to identify, document, and access intellectual capital and information content.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Technical Support Specialist
Provides technical support to customers who need assistance utilizing client level hardware and software in accordance with established or approved organizational process components. (i.e., Master Incident Management Plan, when applicable).
Network Operations Specialist
Plans, implements, and operates network services/systems, to include hardware and virtual environments.
Installs, configures, troubleshoots, and maintains hardware, software, and administers system accounts.
Systems Security Analyst
Responsible for the analysis and development of the integration, testing, operations, and maintenance of systems security.
Oversee and Govern
Legal Advice and Advocacy
Cyber Legal Advisor
Provides legal advice and recommendations on relevant topics related to cyber law.
Privacy Compliance Manager
Develops and oversees privacy compliance program and privacy program staff, supporting privacy compliance needs of privacy and security executives and their teams.
Training, Education, and Awareness
Cyber Instructional Curriculum Developer
Develops, plans, coordinates, and evaluates cyber training/education courses, methods, and techniques based on instructional needs.
Develops and conducts training or education of personnel within cyber domain.
Information Systems Security Manager
Responsible for the cybersecurity of a program, organization, system, or enclave.
Manages the Communications Security (COMSEC) resources of an organization (CNSSI No. 4009).
Strategic Planning and Policy
Cyber Workforce Developer and Manager
Develop cyberspace workforce plans, strategies and guidance to support cyberspace workforce manpower, personnel, training and education requirements and to address changes to cyberspace policy, doctrine, materiel, force structure, and education and training requirements.
Cyber Policy and Strategy Planner
Develops cyberspace plans, strategy and policy to support and align with organizational cyberspace missions and initiatives.
Executive Cyber Leadership
Executive Cyber Leadership
Executes decision making authorities and establishes vision and direction for an organization's cyber and cyber-related resources and/or operations.
Acquisition and Program/Project Management
Leads, coordinates, communicates, integrates and is accountable for the overall success of the program, ensuring alignment with critical agency priorities.
IT Project Manager
Directly manages information technology projects to provide a unique service or product.
Product Support Manager
Manages the package of support functions required to field and maintain the readiness and operational capability of systems and components.
IT Investment/Portfolio Manager
Manages a portfolio of IT capabilities that align with the overall needs of mission and business enterprise priorities.
IT Program Auditor
Conducts evaluations of an IT program or its individual components, to determine compliance with published standards.
Protect and Defend
Cyber Defense Analysis
Cyber Defense Analyst
Uses data collected from a variety of cyber defense tools (e.g., IDS alerts, firewalls, network traffic logs) to analyze events that occur within their environments for the purposes of mitigating threats.
Dyber Defense Infrastructure
Cyber Defense Infrastructure Support Specialist
Tests, implements, deploys, maintains, and administers the infrastructure hardware and software.
Cyber Defense Incident Responder
Investigates, analyzes, and responds to cyber incidents within the network environment or enclave.
Vulnerability Assessment and Management
Performs assessments of systems and networks within the network environment or enclave and identifies where those systems/networks deviate from acceptable configurations, enclave policy, or local policy. Measures effectiveness of defense-in-depth architecture against known vulnerabilities.
Develops unique cyber indicators to maintain constant awareness of the status of the highly dynamic operating environment. Collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates cyber warning assessments.
Collaborates to identify access and collection gaps that can be satisfied through cyber collection and/or preparation activities. Leverages all authorized resources and analytic techniques to penetrate targeted networks.
Analyzes data/information from one or multiple sources to conduct preparation of the environment, respond to requests for information, and submit intelligence collection and production requirements in support of planning and operations.
Mission Assessment Specialist
Develops assessment plans and measures of performance/effectiveness. Conducts strategic and operational effectiveness assessments as required for cyber events. Determines whether systems performed as expected and provides input to the determination of operational effectiveness.
Performs target system analysis, builds and/or maintains electronic target folders to include inputs from environment preparation, and/or internal or external intelligence sources. Coordinates with partner target activities and intelligence organizations, and presents candidate targets for vetting and validation.
Conducts advanced analysis of collection and open-source data to ensure target continuity; to profile targets and their activities; and develop techniques to gain more target information. Determines how targets communicate, move, operate and live based on knowledge of target technologies, digital networks and the applications on them.
Applies language and culture expertise with target/threat and technical knowledge to process, analyze, and/or disseminate intelligence information derived from language, voice and/or graphic material. Creates, and maintains language specific databases and working aids to support cyber action execution and ensure critical knowledge sharing. Provides subject matter expertise in foreign language-intensive or interdisciplinary projects.
Operate and Collect
All Source-Collection Manager
Identifies collection authorities and environment; incorporates priority information requirements into collection management; develops concepts to meet leadership's intent. Determines capabilities of available collection assets, identifies new collection capabilities; and constructs and disseminates collection plans. Monitors execution of tasked collection to ensure effective execution of the collection plan.
All Source-Collection Requirements Evaluation Manager
Evaluates collection operations and develops effects-based collection requirements strategies using available sources and methods to improve collection. Develops, processes, validates, and coordinates submission of collection requirements. Evaluates performance of collection assets and collection operations.
Cyber Operational Planning
Cyber Intel Planner
Develops detailed intelligence plans to satisfy cyber operations requirements. Collaborates with cyber operations planners to identify, validate, and levy requirements for collection and analysis. Participates in targeting selection, validation, synchronization, and execution of cyber actions. Synchronizes intelligence activities to support organization objectives in cyberspace.
Cyber Operations Planner
Develops detailed plans for the conduct or support of the applicable range of cyber operations through collaboration with other planners, operators and/or analysts. Participates in targeting selection, validation, synchronization, and enables integration during the execution of cyber actions.
Partner Integration Planner
Works to advance cooperation across organizational or national borders between cyber operations partners. Aids the integration of partner cyber teams by providing guidance, resources, and collaboration to develop best practices and facilitate organizational support for achieving objectives in integrated cyber actions.
Conducts collection, processing, and/or geolocation of systems in order to exploit, locate, and/or track targets of interest. Performs network navigation, tactical forensic analysis, and, when directed, executing on-net operations.
Cyber Crime Investigator
Identifies, collects, examines, and preserves evidence using controlled and documented analytical and investigative techniques.
Conducts deep-dive investigations on computer-based crimes establishing documentary or physical evidence, to include digital media and logs associated with cyber intrusion incidents.
Cyber Defense Forensics Analyst
Analyzes digital evidence and investigates computer security incidents to derive useful information in support of system/network vulnerability mitigation.