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Conducts technology assessment and integration processes; provides and supports a prototype capability and/or evaluates its utility.

Below are the roles for this Specialty Area. Click each role to see the KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) and Tasks.

  • A0001: Ability to identify systemic security issues based on the analysis of vulnerability and configuration data.
  • A0018: Ability to prepare and present briefings.
  • A0019: Ability to produce technical documentation.
  • A0170: Ability to identify critical infrastructure systems with information communication technology that were designed without system security considerations. 
  • K0001: Knowledge of computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies. 
  • K0002: Knowledge of risk management processes (e.g., methods for assessing and mitigating risk). 
  • K0003: Knowledge of laws, regulations, policies, and ethics as they relate to cybersecurity and privacy. 
  • K0004: Knowledge of cybersecurity and privacy principles. 
  • K0005: Knowledge of cyber threats and vulnerabilities. 
  • K0006: Knowledge of specific operational impacts of cybersecurity lapses. 
  • K0009: Knowledge of application vulnerabilities. 
  • K0019: Knowledge of cryptography and cryptographic key management concepts 
  • K0059: Knowledge of new and emerging information technology (IT) and cybersecurity technologies. 
  • K0090: Knowledge of system life cycle management principles, including software security and usability.
  • K0126: Knowledge of Supply Chain Risk Management Practices (NIST SP 800-161) 
  • K0169: Knowledge of information technology (IT) supply chain security and supply chain risk management policies, requirements, and procedures. 
  • K0170: Knowledge of critical infrastructure systems with information communication technology that were designed without system security considerations. 
  • K0171: Knowledge of hardware reverse engineering techniques. 
  • K0172: Knowledge of middleware (e.g., enterprise service bus and message queuing). 
  • K0174: Knowledge of networking protocols. 
  • K0175: Knowledge of software reverse engineering techniques. 
  • K0176: Knowledge of Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas. 
  • K0179: Knowledge of network security architecture concepts including topology, protocols, components, and principles (e.g., application of defense-in-depth). 
  • K0202: Knowledge of the application firewall concepts and functions (e.g., Single point of authentication/audit/policy enforcement, message scanning for malicious content, data anonymization for PCI and PII compliance, data loss protection scanning, accelerated cryptographic operations, SSL security, REST/JSON processing).
  • K0209: Knowledge of covert communication techniques.
  • K0267: Knowledge of laws, policies, procedures, or governance relevant to cybersecurity for critical infrastructures. 
  • K0268: Knowledge of forensic footprint identification. 
  • K0269: Knowledge of mobile communications architecture. 
  • K0271: Knowledge of operating system structures and internals (e.g., process management, directory structure, installed applications).
  • K0272: Knowledge of network analysis tools used to identify software communications vulnerabilities.
  • K0288: Knowledge of industry standard security models.
  • K0296: Knowledge of capabilities, applications, and potential vulnerabilities of network equipment including hubs, routers, switches, bridges, servers, transmission media, and related hardware.
  • K0310: Knowledge of hacking methodologies.
  • K0314: Knowledge of industry technologies’ potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities. 
  • K0321: Knowledge of engineering concepts as applied to computer architecture and associated computer hardware/software.
  • K0342: Knowledge of penetration testing principles, tools, and techniques.
  • K0499: Knowledge of operations security.
  • S0005: Skill in applying and incorporating information technologies into proposed solutions.
  • S0017: Skill in creating and utilizing mathematical or statistical models.
  • S0072: Skill in using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • S0140: Skill in applying the systems engineering process.
  • S0148: Skill in designing the integration of technology processes and solutions, including legacy systems and modern programming languages.
  • S0172: Skill in applying secure coding techniques.
  • T0064: Review and validate data mining and data warehousing programs, processes, and requirements.
  • T0249: Research current technology to understand capabilities of required system or network.
  • T0250: Identify cyber capabilities strategies for custom hardware and software development based on mission requirements.
  • T0283: Collaborate with stakeholders to identify and/or develop appropriate solutions technology.
  • T0284: Design and develop new tools/technologies as related to cybersecurity.
  • T0327: Evaluate network infrastructure vulnerabilities to enhance capabilities being developed.
  • T0329: Follow software and systems engineering life cycle standards and processes.
  • T0409: Troubleshoot prototype design and process issues throughout the product design, development, and pre-launch phases.
  • T0410: Identify functional- and security-related features to find opportunities for new capability development to exploit or mitigate vulnerabilities.
  • T0411: Identify and/or develop reverse engineering tools to enhance capabilities and detect vulnerabilities.
  • T0413: Develop data management capabilities (e.g., cloud-based, centralized cryptographic key management) to include support to the mobile workforce.
  • T0547: Research and evaluate available technologies and standards to meet customer requirements.
  • Capability Indicators for Research & Development Specialist
    Category Entry Intermediate Advanced
    Credentials/Certifications
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Example Types: N/A
    • Example Topics: Certifications addressing network infrastructure, mobile device integration, hardware evaluation, operating systems, technical support, business continuity and disaster recovery, cloud computing security, cryptography, incident management, IT governance, risk management, securing communications, authentication, security testing, intrusion detection/prevention, incident response and recovery, attacks and countermeasures, cryptography, and malicious code countermeasures
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Example Types: N/A
    • Example Topics: Certifications addressing network types, network media, switching fundamentals, TCP/IP, IP addressing and routing, WAN technologies, operating and configuring IOS devices, managing network environments, risk management, categorization of information systems, selection of security controls, security control implementation and assessment, information system authorization, monitoring of security controls, business continuity and disaster recovery, cloud computing security, cryptography, incident management, and securing communications
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Example Topics: Certifications that address security and risk management, asset security, security engineering, communications and network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations, software development security, incident management, change management/incident handling for managers, common attacks and malware, security policy, disaster recovery and contingency planning, total cost of ownership, operational security, physical security and facility safety, privacy and web security, ethics, protecting intellectual property, network infrastructure, quality and growth of the security organization, cryptography, vulnerabilities, wireless security, network and endpoint security technologies, network protocols for managers, project management, managing the mission, enterprise security, integration of computing, communications, and business discipline, and technical integration of enterprise components
    Continuous Learning
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Examples: 40 hours annually (tutorials, seminars, workshops)
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Examples: 40 hours annually (seminars, workshops)
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Examples: 40 hours annually (seminars, workshops, publish articles)
    Education
    • Recommended: Not essential but may be beneficial
    • Example Types: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's
    • Example Topics: Systems engineering
    • Recommended: Not essential but may be beneficial
    • Example Types: Bachelor's, Master's, Ph.D.
    • Example Topics: Computer systems engineering
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Example Types: Master's, Ph.D.
    • Example Topics: Computer systems engineering, doctorate-level specialization in critical systems
    Experiential Learning
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Examples: Hands-on experience with close supervision in information assurance
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Examples: 2+ years of experience, successful completion of three distinct projects
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Examples: Hands-on experience; successful completion of five distinct projects with outstanding results; increased variety and complexity of experience
    Training
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Example Types: N/A
    • Example Topics: Apprenticeship/hands-on training; systems administration
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Example Types: N/A
    • Example Topics: 2+ years of apprenticeship or supervised on-the-job training involving integrating different areas of knowledge to create a practical solution to a security problem; network security vulnerabilities, information system security, advanced network analysis
    • Recommended: Yes
    • Example Types: N/A
    • Example Topics: 4+ years of apprenticeship/hands-on training involving integrating different areas of knowledge to create a practical solution to a security problem; information systems security management