From education to employment

Cyber security technical professional (degree)

Reference Number: ST0409

Details of standard

Role Profile: A cyber security technical professional operates in business or technology / engineering functions across a range of sectors of the economy including critical national infrastructure (such as energy, transport, water, finance), public and private, large and small. They will normally operate with a considerable degree of autonomy and will lead teams which research, analyse, model, assess and manage cyber security risks; design, develop, justify, manage and operate secure solutions; and detect and respond to incidents. They work in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, standards and ethics.

Typical Job Roles: Cyber Risk Manager; Cyber Risk Analyst; Cyber Research Analyst; Cyber Incident Manager; Cyber Security Engineer; Cyber Security Design Engineer.

Entry Requirements: individual employers will set the selection criteria, but this is likely to include three ‘A’ levels, including maths, or other relevant qualifications or experience.

A cyber security technical professional has the competencies, knowledge and underpinning skills attitudes and behaviours below.

Technical Competencies                                            

Technical Knowledge and Understanding               

1: N/A

Foundations of cyber security, its significance, concepts, threats, vulnerabilities and assurance.

2: Design, build, configure, optimise, test and troubleshoot simple and complex networks.

Network foundations, connections, internetworking, protocols, standards, performance, security and server virtualisation.

3: Apply statistical techniques to large data sets. Identify vulnerabilities in big data architectures and deployment.

Information management, big data concepts, statistical techniques, database concepts and data quality.

4: Build test and debug a digital system to a specification.

Computer architecture, digital logic, machine level representation of data.

5: Configure an Operating System in accordance with security policy. Identify threats and features.

Operating System principles, architectures, features, mechanisms, security features and exploits.

6: Write, test, debug programs in high and low level languages and scripts.

Algorithm and program design, concepts, compilers and logic. Programming languages.

7: Design, implement and analyse algorithms.

Algorithms, complexity and discrete maths.

8: Construct software to interact with the real world and analyse for security exploits.

How software interacts with the hardware and real world environment and security issues.

9: Analyse malware & identify its mechanisms.

Malware, reverse engineering, obfuscation.

10: Apply secure programming principles and design patterns to address security issues.

Defensive programming, malware resistance, code analysis, formal methods, good practice.

11: Apply system engineering and software development methodologies and models.

System development principles, tools, approaches, complexity, software engineering.

12: Discover, identify and analyse threats, attack techniques, vulnerabilities and mitigations.

Threats, vulnerabilities, impacts and mitigations in ICT systems and the enterprise environment.

13: Assess culture & individual responsibilities.

Human dimensions of cyber security.

14: Undertake ethical system reconnaissance and intelligence analysis.

Structured and ethical intelligence analysis, methods, techniques.

15: Undertake risk modelling, analysis and trades.

Management of cyber security risk, tools and techniques.

16: Undertake risk assessment to an external standard.

Quantitative & qualitative risk management theory & practice, role of risk stakeholders.

17: Apply a management system and develop an information security management plan.

Concepts & benefits of security management systems, governance & international standards.

18: Configure and use security technology components and key management.

Security components: how they are used for security / business benefit. Crypto & key management.

19: Design & evaluate a system to a security case.

How to compose a justified security case.

20: Architect, analyse & justify a secure system.

Understand security assurance, how to achieve it and how to apply security principles

21: Develop an assurance strategy.

Assurance concepts & approaches.

22: Security monitoring, analysis and intrusion detection. Recognise anomalies & behaviours.

How to diagnose cause from observables. Application of SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) tools & techniques.

23: Manage intrusion response, including with 3rd parties.

Cyber incident response, management, escalation, investigation & 3rd party involvement.

24: N/A

Legal, regulatory, compliance & standards environment.

25: Organise testing & investigation work in accordance with legal & ethical requirements.

Applicability of laws regulations & ethical standards.

26: Develop & apply information security policy to implement legal or regulatory requirements.

Legal responsibilities of system owners, users, employers, employees.

Underpinning professional, interpersonal and business skills


  • Fluent in written communications and able to articulate complex issues. 

  • Makes concise, engaging and well-structured verbal presentations, arguments and explanations. 

  • Able to deal with different, competing interests within and outside the organisation with excellent negotiation skills. 

  • Able to identify the preferences, motivations, strengths and limitations of other people and apply these insights to work more effectively with and to motivate others. 

  • Able to work effectively with others to achieve a common goal. 

  • Competent in active listening and in leading, influencing and persuading others. 

  • Able to give and receive feedback constructively and incorporate it into his/her own development and life-long learning. 

  • Analytical and critical thinking skills for Technology Solutions development and can systematically analyse and apply structured problem solving techniques to complex systems and situations. 

  • Able to put forward, demonstrate value and gain commitment to a moderately complex technology-oriented solution, demonstrating understanding of business need, using open questions and summarising skills and basic negotiating skills. 

  • Can conduct effective research, using literature and other media. 

  • Logical thinking and creative approach to problem solving. 

  • Able to demonstrate a ‘security mind-set’ (how to break as well as make).


  • Demonstrates business disciplines, ethics and courtesies, demonstrating timeliness and focus when faced with distractions and the ability to complete tasks to a deadline with high quality. 

  • Flexible attitude and ability to perform under pressure. 

  • A thorough approach to work in the cyber security role.

BSC (Hons) Cyber Security Technical Professional Degree. Apprentices without Level 2 English and maths must achieve this prior to taking the end-point assessment.

Professional Recognition: recognised for entry to Institute of Information Security Professionals membership at Associate level.

Duration: the duration of this apprenticeship is typically 48 months.

Level: this is a Level 6 apprenticeship.

Review Date: this standard will be reviewed three years from the publication date.

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