The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is an agency designed to assess risk and threats to the nation. They work alongside the federal government along with other agencies in the public and private sector to defend those threats, working to secure a more resilient infrastructure. The overall mission is to make sure citizens and residents are safe within the confines of the United States.
How Does the CISA Work?
The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency delivers assistance through calculated, coordinated security efforts to national stakeholders and operators. By conducting extensive outreach throughout the nation, they help support national emergency response teams, providers, and government officials. This agency is instrumental in communications for all-natural or man-made disasters and any acts of terrorism against the country.
In 2018, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act was enacted to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002. This Act established and authorizes the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security to protect the Nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats through collaboration between government and private sector organizations.
Careers within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
There are a number of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency jobs for those looking to work in this field. These jobs include individuals that would like to work in cybersecurity, emergency communications, infrastructure security and other areas. Specific Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency careers can be located all across the United States.
Some specific Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency jobs include Critical Infrastructure Specialist, Management and Program Analyst, IT Specialist, Deputy Associate Chief of Logistics, Data Scientist, Chief Information Officer, Associate Director for Bombing Prevention, Logistics Management Specialist, Deputy Mission Coordinator, Cyber Policy and Strategy Planner, Cyber Instructional Curriculum Developer, and others.
Most Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency careers require a degree, extensive background check and security clearance. These roles can be very lucrative, and there are multiple opportunities to move up the ladder. Having the right foundational background is key, along with a strong moral compass and penchant for confidentiality.
Working for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency can be an exciting career path for those interested in the inner workings of national security. While there are very structured positions available, there are also positions in administration and other areas of the corporate world. Doing the proper research prior to pursuing these careers will be beneficial to ensure all the qualifications are met.
Education for Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Careers
Having the right education to fulfill active roles within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is important. There are over 190 institutions working with the Department of Homeland Security to encourage students to pursue careers in this field. These institutions are deemed National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity.
The National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C)
Institutions that fall under this moniker are managed by the National Cryptologic School at the National Security Agency (NSA). These Centers are committed to the creation and management of collaborative cybersecurity educational programs. There are three designations in which they can choose, ensuring the institution meets the characteristics and qualifications of a CAE institution.
These institutions must also complete validation of a Program of Study (PoS) with various courses and experiences to ensure students can reasonably accomplish the coursework to attain a certification or degree. The three designations are as follows:
- The Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE)
This designation is awarded to regionally accredited academic institutions that offer Associates, Bachelors’s, and graduate level degrees and certificates.
- The Cyber Research (CAE-R)
This designation is awarded to DoD (Department of Defense) schools, Ph.D. producing military academies, or regionally accredited, degree-granting four-year institutions rated as either a Doctoral University (R1 – Highest Research Activity), Doctoral University – (R2 – Higher Research Activity), or Doctoral University (R3 – Moderate Research Activity) by the Carnegie Foundation Basic Classification system.
- The Cyber Operations (CAE-CO)
This is a technical, interdisciplinary program of higher education immersed in computer science, computer engineering, or electrical engineering fields offering extensive opportunities for hands-on applications.
There are also scholarships available, as well as opportunities for employment through the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program. Federal partners of these programs include the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Defense Office of the Chief Information Office (DoD-CIO), and the US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM).