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Steve Zurier
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The 7 Types Of Security Jobs, According To NIST

NIST's Cybersecurity Workforce Framework gives the security industry a way to classify specific specialty areas and work roles and identify a path for career growth.
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Making sense of the complex. That’s what NIST’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) aims to do in developing the draft NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF).

Bill Newhouse, NICE deputy director and lead author of the draft document, said in developing the NCWF, NIST synthesized the diverse field of cybersecurity by identifying seven categories of job functions for security professionals.

Newhouse introduced the NCWF publicly for the first time last week at the 2016 NICE Conference and Expo in Kansas City. The goal of this year’s conference was for leaders in government, business, and academia to share best practices for growing the cyber workforce. 

Dark Reading's all-day virtual event Nov. 15 offers an in-depth look at myths surrounding data defense and how to put business on a more effective security path. 


“Nothing like the NCWF has ever existed before, primarily because security is a new field that has largely developed out of the intelligence and defense communities,” Newhouse said. “The NCWF can help an organization identify cybersecurity tasks within a work role that are vital to its mission and then examine if its current staff can perform those tasks and if not, hire staff who can.”

The NCWF also identifies the skills that security professionals need to develop and gives them a sense of what skills they need to add. In fact, terminology from the NCWF has been incorporated into two new online resources for the cybersecuruity field: the CyberSeek jobs map that graphically displays the nation’s cybersecurity job demand and availability; and the Career Pathway, which helps students and job seekers new to the field develop career plans.

“The NCWF gives the training groups like CompTIA and ISC2 a better idea of what they need to present to the workforce,” Newhouse said. “Plus a security professional can look at the list and realize that there are various skills they need to develop to get to the next level or a job they are interested in. The other big point is that all of this is presented in a common lexicon and format that everyone can agree on.”

The draft NCWF is now out for public comment until Jan. 6, 2017. Those who want to comment on the draft can download the template form.  

Read on to see NIST's seven categories of cybersecurity job functions.


Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

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