Contract Roles in Government Cyber Security

With technology becoming more advanced, security breaches and data hacking are everyday occurrences for small and large organizations. Threats against cybersecurity, cyber hacking, and data theft create thousands of new job openings in public, government, or private sectors. The U.S. government fully acknowledges that cybercrime poses a big issue for its organizations and various local, state, and federal administrations.

If you're thinking about pursuing a career in cybersecurity, a job in the government sector comes with fantastic benefits and advantages not found in other businesses. Here are nine key government cybersecurity contracting roles: 

  • System Administration — managing one or more systems

  • Network Administration and Network Security Operations 

  • Security Assessment, Security Auditing, and Information Assurance

  • Threat Analysis, Intrusion Analysis, Intelligence, and Counterintelligence 

  • Forensics investigation

  • Programming

  • Technical writing

  • Security architecture 

  • Information security and incident management

Types Government Cybersecurity

 The U.S. government is finally updating its legacy tech-based systems and modernizing its IT infrastructure, strengthening the national cybersecurity profile. As a result, the federal government takes a strategic approach to cyberattack mitigation and protecting data and information systems. Here are five cybersecurity techniques that help mitigate cyberattacks: 

Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity — This technique is deployed to secure the systems that cover critical infrastructures, like the electricity grid, water purification, and traffic lights. While these infrastructures usually aren't the direct targets of cyber-attacks, they can act as an access point for cybercriminals to deploy malware to the endpoints these systems are connected to. 


Network Security — This technique allows government agencies to safeguard their computer networks from intruders, targeted attacks, and opportunistic malware. To counter these, organizations often deploy cybersecurity programs that monitor the internal network and its infrastructure. In addition, implementation of updated policies and integration of machine learning that would alert the authorities and law enforcement are often suggested as additional security measures. 

Cloud Security — Processing large amounts of unstructured data derived and obtained from unknown sources bears potential risks to the network. Likewise, large quantities of data kept in physical form and on-premise are more susceptible to cyberattacks and malware. That's why security engineers advise integrating cloud-based security platforms into various systems. This will provide users with secured and "clean" data, mitigating the possibility of a cyberattack. 

Internet of Things Security — The IoT is considered the next step of technological revolution, providing users with a variety of critical and non-critical appliances in their smart homes. However, one of the major obstacles to IoT implementation in government sectors is the cybersecurity threat. 

Application Security — Applications are as prone to cyberattacks as any other type of hardware or software. Application security thwarts any security infringement by implementing hardware and software security methods at the application's development phase. 

 The Importance of Government Cybersecurity

The federal government and its agencies fend off tens of thousands of cyberattacks from cybercriminals and other adversaries. Protecting said federal agencies from cyber operations is an incredibly important task, especially when more and more information is becoming digital. Those agencies host personal information about every individual in the country, as well as financial data and information related to national security. Governments are treasure troves of information that are incredibly appealing to cybercriminal masterminds.

Why You Should Consider a Career in Government Cybersecurity

The U.S. government provides several incentives to IT security professionals and job seekers to pursue careers in the public sector. For example, the National Science Foundation provides yearly scholarships for undergraduates of up to $22,500 and $34,000 for graduate students. Additionally, you might become eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your direct loans. 

The first step towards beginning a career in cyber security with the U.S. government is obtaining the right education, like a bachelor's degree in computer science, for example. Taking any governmental internship offered by the National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Central Intelligence Agency can strengthen your field experience and expose you to different career paths.

List of Government Cybersecurity Careers

There are many subtle variations in cybersecurity, even though they share a common goal of protecting data and sensitive information. Here are some of the cyber security jobs you can pursue with the U.S. government: 

Security specialist — The primary role of a security specialist is the protection of software and network systems security. This includes conducting external and internal security audits, vulnerability tests, security assessments, and risk management. 

Incident responder — Bear the responsibility of resolving threat issues and taking necessary precautions to prevent any further such attacks. 

Cyber security analyst — The main responsibility is to plan, implement and upgrade security measures to strengthen and protect the network infrastructure. 

Security manager — Keeps the entire cybersecurity system running securely and efficiently.

Security auditor — Audits security systems of an organization to safeguard it from cyberattacks. 

Forensic expert — Involves analyzing various security breaches to ascertain how they happened and who perpetrated said breaches. 

Penetration tester — Also known as ethical hackers, these individuals perform cyber attacks on a network to assess the strength of its security system. 

Security engineer — Responsible for identifying potential security gaps in computer and networking systems, and working on possible solutions to close those gaps.

 

Summary

Working either as a government contractor or full-time information technology and cyber security expert with the U.S. government provides numerous benefits. These incentivize IT professionals to seek employment at various government agencies, like DOD or FBI. If you're looking for a cybersecurity job with the U.S. Government, check out Quadrant; they can help you land a job suitable to your cybersecurity skills.