CISA Cyber Defense Incident Responder

This role investigates, analyzes, and responds to cyber incidents within the network environment or enclave.

Personnel performing this role may unofficially or alternatively be called:

  • Incident Handler
  • Incident Responder
  • Incident Response Analyst
  • Incident Response Engineer
  • Incident Response Coordinator
  • Intrusion Analyst
  • Computer Network Defense Incident Responder
  • Computer Security Incident Response Team Engineer

Category: Protect and Defend
Specialty Area: Incident Response


Core Tasks

  • Collect intrusion artifacts (e.g., source code, malware, trojans) and use discovered data to enable mitigation of potential cyber defense incidents within the enterprise. (T0278)
  • Coordinate and provide expert technical support to enterprise-wide cyber defense technicians to resolve cyber defense incidents. (T0041)
  • Coordinate incident response functions. (T0510)
  • Monitor external data sources (e.g., cyber defense vendor sites, Computer Emergency Response Teams, Security Focus) to maintain currency of cyber defense threat conditions and determine which security issues may have an impact on the enterprise. (T0503)
  • Perform cyber defense trend analysis and reporting. (T0164)
  • Perform initial, forensically sound collection of images and inspect to discern possible mitigation/remediation on enterprise systems. (T0170)
  • Receive and analyze network alerts from various sources within the enterprise and determine possible causes of such alerts. (T0214)
  • Write and publish after-action reviews. (T0395)
  • Write and publish cyber defense techniques, guidance, and reports on incident findings to appropriate constituencies. (T0246)

Core Competencies

  • Business Continuity
  • Computer Forensics
  • Computer Network Defense
  • Incident Management
  • Information Systems/Network Security
  • Infrastructure Design
  • System Administration
  • Threat Analysis
  • Vulnerability Assessment

Core Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSAs)

  • Knowledge of business continuity and disaster recovery continuity of operations plans. (K0026)
  • Skill in preserving evidence integrity according to standard operating procedures or national standards. (S0047)
  • 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)
  • Skill in protecting a network against malware. (e.g., NIPS, anti-malware, restrict/prevent external devices, spam filters). (S0079)
  • Knowledge of incident categories, incident responses, and timelines for responses. (K0041)
  • Knowledge of incident response and handling methodologies. (K0042)
  • Skill in performing damage assessments. (S0080)
  • Knowledge of network security architecture concepts including topology, protocols, components, and principles (e.g., application of defense-in-depth). (K0179)
  • Skill in securing network communications. (S0077)
  • Skill in using security event correlation tools. (S0173)
  • Knowledge of network services and protocols interactions that provide network communications. (K0034)
  • Knowledge of OSI model and underlying network protocols (e.g., TCP/IP). (K0221)
  • Knowledge of cloud service models and how those models can limit incident response. (K0230)
  • Knowledge of network protocols such as TCP/IP, Dynamic Host Configuration, Domain Name System (DNS), and directory services. (K0230)
  • Knowledge of system administration, network, and operating system hardening techniques. (K0167)
  • 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). (K0162)
  • Knowledge of cyber attack stages (e.g., reconnaissance, scanning, enumeration, gaining access, escalation of privileges, maintaining access, network exploitation, covering tracks). (K0177)
  • Knowledge of malware analysis concepts and methodologies. (K0259)
  • Skill of identifying, capturing, containing, and reporting malware. (S0003)
  • Knowledge of system and application security threats and vulnerabilities (e.g., buffer overflow, mobile code, cross-site scripting, Procedural Language/Structured Query Language [PL/SQL] and injections, race conditions, covert channel, replay, return-oriented attacks, malicious code). (K0070)
  • Knowledge of what constitutes a network attack and a network attack’s relationship to both threats and vulnerabilities. (K0106)
  • Skill in recognizing and categorizing types of vulnerabilities and associated attacks. (S0078)

How to Apply

To apply for this work role, submit an application to one or more of CISA's vacancy announcements. Please ensure your resume has been updated to reflect your demonstrated experience performing the above tasks and describe your exposure to the listed competencies.

  1. Assign the appropriate Task ID and/or Core KSA ID to each experience statement in your resume. Task and KSA IDs are listed in parenthesis at the end of each bullet above.
  2. You must also include demonstrated experience on the four required competencies:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Customer Service
  • Oral Communication
  • Problem Solving

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