Workforce Categories

What does the future look like and how do we know?

NICCS - National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies

NICCS, sometimes referred to as NICE (National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education) defines what cybersecurity professionalization will look like in the next 10-50 years.

If you go back in time to early medical practices in the wild west, you had one person who pulled teeth, stitched wounds, cut hair, and set bones. Eventually these became separate and specific jobs with requirements and well-defined Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Tasks (KSATs) laid out for better training and development.  NICE now provides cybersecurity development with the well-defined structure of the NICE Framework.

In 2007 Brenda Oldfield lead the development of the EBK. Expanding Security saw that private certification bodies dealing with cybersecurity were that wild west. The position descriptions for CISOs were very different from company to company.  The certifications were not helping to clarify this role or any others. Ms. Oldfield knew the old system would not scale. She took the topics of security and mapped them to roles.

In 2013 NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) picked up where Ms. Oldfield left off. NIST’s standardization efforts is known as NICCS and/or NICE (National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education). We immediately joined this effort which encompasses more than 1000 cybersecurity people from .mil, .edu, .com, and .org. We work directly on NICE Working Groups of Workforce Management, Training and Certifications.

This effort was formalized by SP800-181.  Our instructors spent 80 hours providing input to that document.  Our names are listed as contributors.

The NICE Framework provides a blueprint to categorize, organize, and describe cybersecurity work into Categories, Specialty Areas, Tasks, and Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs).  The NICE Framework provides a common language for cybersecurity roles, jobs, and career development.  The NICE mission is to energize and promote a robust network and an ecosystem of cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development.

We live in a certification world which is changing into cybersecurity professionalization. Current resumes must include cybersecurity certifications.

We developed our role-based courses in 2013. We became one of the first corporate training vendors to offer NICCS role training in the NICCS catalog.

When you take our certification courses, they are a superset of information that includes certification and the NICCS role. So we build the role, the course, and then fit that certification to the role.  Eventually certifications will go away and professionalization will blossom. We are ready now!

Every cybersecurity certification vendor is retrofitting all of their courseware and certification to this process. 

We decided to rewrite all of our courses, and we mapped each course to the jobs that you will have in the future. 

When you look at our course catalog and compare it to the job description that is defined by NICCS you will see a one-to-one mapping of knowledge, skills, abilities, and task (KSAT’s) to a job description.

How can organizations get up to speed fast?

Set up an appointment to plan workforce development, educate human resources, or write future job descriptions. 

Course = Exact Role

What roles? What courses?

Securely Provision

Conceptualizes, designs, procures, and/or builds secure information technology (IT) systems, with responsibility for aspects of system and/or network development.

Operate and Maintain

Provides the support, administration, and maintenance necessary to ensure effective and efficient information technology (IT) system performance and security.

Oversee and Govern

Provides leadership, management, direction, or development and advocacy so the organization may effectively conduct cybersecurity work.
Identifies, analyzes, and mitigates threats to internal information technology (IT) systems and/or networks.

Forensics and Operations

Forensics: Investigates cybersecurity events or crimes related to information technology (IT) systems, networks, and digital evidence.

Collect and Operate: Provides specialized denial and deception operations and collection of cybersecurity information that may be used to develop intelligence.