National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework


The National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (Workforce Framework) is a national resource that categorizes and describes cybersecurity work. It provides employers, employees, educators, students, and training providers with a common language to define cybersecurity work as well as a common set of tasks and skills required to perform cybersecurity work. Through the process of identifying the cybersecurity workforce and using a standard set of terms we can work together to educate, recruit, train, develop, and retain a highly-qualified workforce.

As such, in 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security led development of the updated Workforce Framework, which includes input from across the private sector, academia, and government.

National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework Overview

The Workforce Framework provides a common language to describe cybersecurity work regardless of organizational structures or job titles. It organizes cybersecurity work into Specialty Areas (there are 32, including Specialty Areas such as Incident Response and Data Administration). Similar Specialty Areas are grouped together and referred to as Categories (there are 7 Categories).

For each Specialty Area, the Workforce Framework provides a standard set of required tasks and knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). This information provides organizations (and those developing cybersecurity teams within an organization) with an additional level of detail around what types of education, training, certifications and skills it takes to perform the various types of cybersecurity work.

The Workforce Framework is meant to be flexible and organizations should use it as a guide to fit their specific needs. Some examples include:

  • Standardize how positions are managed and described by populating position descriptions with Tasks and KSAs from the Workforce Framework.
  • Incorporate Tasks and KSAs into job advertisements to attract candidates who can perform needed job functions.

Develop career paths that outline the Tasks and KSAs staff need to perform to progress to the next level.

Learn more about the Workforce Framework and how you can use it by exploring the links on this page and by visiting the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) at

Learn more about NICE by exploring the tabs at the top of this page.


Workforce Framework
Supporting Materials

OPM Special Cybersecurity Workforce Project Supporting Documents (July 2013)


NICE Cube - Workforce Framework

NICE Email Updates
govdelivery bubble icon  Sign Up for NICE E-mail alerts or change your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information:

Contact Us