CISA Cyber Defense Analyst

This role 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.

Personnel performing this work role may unofficially or alternatively be called:

  • Computer Network Defense (CND) Analyst
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Incident Analyst
  • Network Defense Technician
  • Network Security Engineer
  • Security Analyst
  • Security Operator
  • Sensor Analyst
  • Senior Network Security Engineer
  • Focused Operations Security Analyst

Skill Community: Cybersecurity
Category: Protect and Defend
Specialty Area: Cyber Defense Analysis
Work Role Code: 511


Core Tasks

  • Provide timely detection, identification, and alerting of possible attacks/intrusions, anomalous activities, and misuse activities and distinguish these incidents and events from benign activities. (T0258)
  • Use cyber defense tools for continual monitoring and analysis of system to identify malicious activity. (T0259)
  • Document and escalate incidents (including event’s history, status, and potential impact for further action) that may cause ongoing and immediate impact to the environment. (T0155)
  • Analyze identified malicious activity to determine weaknesses exploited, exploitation methods, effects on system and information. (T0260)
  • Perform event correlation using information gathered from a variety of sources within the enterprise to gain situational awareness and determine the effectiveness of an observed attack. (T0166)
  • Conduct research, analysis, and correlation across a wide variety of all source data sets (indications and warnings). (T0294)
  • Receive and analyze network alerts from various sources within the enterprise and determine possible causes of such alerts. (T0214)
  • Perform cyber defense trend analysis and reporting. (T0164)
  • Characterize and analyze network traffic to identify anomalous activity and potential threats to network resources. (T0023)
  • Coordinate with enterprise-wide cyber defense staff to validate network alerts. (T0043)
  • Identify and analyze anomalies in network traffic using metadata. (T0293)
  • Provide daily summary reports of network events and activity relevant to cyber defense practices. (T0198)
  • Identify applications and operating systems of a network device based on network traffic. (T0297)


Core Competencies

  • Computer Network Defense
  • Data Management
  • Information Systems/Network Security
  • Infrastructure Design
  • Network Management
  • Technology Awareness
  • Threat Analysis
  • Vulnerability Assessment

Core Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSAs)

  • Knowledge of cybersecurity and privacy principles. (K0004)
  • Knowledge of computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies. (K0001)
  • Knowledge of laws, regulations, policies, and ethics as they relate to cybersecurity and privacy. (K0003)
  • Knowledge of risk management processes (e.g., methods for assessing and mitigating risk). (K0002)
  • Knowledge of cyber threats and vulnerabilities. (K0005)
  • Knowledge of specific operational impacts of cybersecurity lapses. (K0006)
  • Knowledge of intrusion detection methodologies and techniques for detecting host and network-based intrusions. (K0046)
  • Knowledge of cyber defense and information security policies, procedures, and regulations. (K0157)
  • Knowledge of the common attack vectors on the network layer. (K0160)
  • Knowledge of Intrusion Detection System (IDS)/Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) tools and applications. (K0324)
  • Skill in collecting data from a variety of cyber defense resources. (S0063)
  • Knowledge of information technology (IT) security principles and methods (e.g., firewalls, demilitarized zones, encryption). (K0049)
  • Knowledge of how traffic flows across the network (e.g., Transmission Control Protocol [TCP] and Internet Protocol [IP], Open System Interconnection Model [OSI], Information Technology Infrastructure Library, current version [ITIL]). (K0061)
  • Knowledge of network protocols such as TCP/IP, Dynamic Host Configuration, Domain Name System (DNS), and directory services. (K0332)
  • Knowledge of network traffic analysis methods. (K0058)
  • Knowledge of new and emerging information technology (IT) and cybersecurity technologies. (K0059)
  • Knowledge of different classes of attacks (e.g., passive, active, insider, close-in, distribution attacks). (K0161)
  • Knowledge of cyber attackers (e.g., script kiddies, insider threat, non-nation state-sponsored, and nation sponsored). (K162)
  • Knowledge of cyber defense and vulnerability assessment tools and their capabilities. (K0013)
  • Knowledge of what constitutes a network attack and a network attack’s relationship to both threats and vulnerabilities. (K0106)
  • Knowledge of how to use network analysis tools to identify vulnerabilities. (K0339)
  • Skill in recognizing and categorizing types of vulnerabilities and associated attacks. (S0078)
  • Skill in performing packet-level analysis. (S0156)


Join the Mission

CISA is always searching for diverse, talented, and highly motivated professionals to continue its mission of securing the nation’s critical infrastructure. CISA is more than a great place to work; our workforce tackles the risks and threats that matter most to the nation, our families, and communities.

To join this mission, visit USAJOBs and/or the DHS Cybersecurity Service to view job announcements and to access the application. Be sure to tailor your resume to the specific job announcement, attach relevant documents, and complete all required assessments. 

When applying for CISA’s cyber positions, please review CISA’s cyber roles above and update your resume to align your experience with the listed competencies. Your resume must also show demonstrated cyber/IT related experience in:

  • Attention to Detail
  • Customer Service
  • Oral Communication
  • Problem Solving

To receive email notifications when new CISA positions are announced, set up a “saved search” on USAJOBs with keyword “Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”

Individuals eligible for special hiring authorities may also be considered during CISA’s one-stop hiring events or by emailing or

Was this webpage helpful?  Yes  |  Somewhat  |  No