Threat Warning Analyst Job Profile

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What is a Threat Warning Analyst?

The Threat Warning Analyst develops cyber indicators to maintain awareness of the status of the highly dynamic operating environment. Collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates cyber threat/warning assessments.

Warning Analyst must know:

  • computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies.
  • risk management processes (e.g., methods for assessing and mitigating risk).
  • laws, regulations, policies, and ethics as they relate to cybersecurity and privacy.
  • cybersecurity and privacy principles.
  • cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
  • specific operational impacts of cybersecurity lapses.
  • human-computer interaction principles.
  • network traffic analysis methods.
  • concepts, terminology, and operations of a wide range of communications media (computer and telephone networks, satellite, fiber, wireless).
  • physical computer components and architectures, including the functions of various components and peripherals (e.g., CPUs, Network Interface Cards, data storage).
  • cyber attack stages (e.g., reconnaissance, scanning, enumeration, gaining access, escalation of privileges, maintaining access, network exploitation, covering tracks).
  • website types, administration, functions, and content management system (CMS).
  • attack methods and techniques (DDoS, brute force, spoofing, etc.).
  • classification and control markings standards, policies and procedures.
  • common computer/network infections (virus, Trojan, etc.) and methods of infection (ports, attachments, etc.).
  • computer networking fundamentals (i.e., basic computer components of a network, types of networks, etc.).
  • current computer-based intrusion sets.
  • cyber intelligence/information collection capabilities and repositories.
  • cyber operations terminology/lexicon.
  • data communications terminology (e.g., networking protocols, Ethernet, IP, encryption, optical devices, removable media).
  • encryption algorithms and cyber capabilities/tools (e.g., SSL, PGP).
  • evolving/emerging communications technologies.
  • fundamental cyber operations concepts, terminology/lexicon (i.e., environment preparation, cyber-attack, cyber defense), principles, capabilities, limitations, and effects.
  • general Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system components.
  • host-based security products and how those products affect exploitation and reduce vulnerability.
  • how Internet applications work (SMTP email, web-based email, chat clients, VOIP).
  • how modern digital and telephony networks impact cyber operations.
  • how modern wireless communications systems impact cyber operations.
  • how to extract, analyze, and use metadata.
  • intelligence disciplines.
  • intelligence preparation of the environment and similar processes.
  • intelligence support to planning, execution, and assessment.
  • internal tactics to anticipate and/or emulate threat capabilities and actions.
  • Internet network addressing (IP addresses, classless inter-domain routing, TCP/UDP port numbering).
  • malware.
  • operations security.
  • organizational hierarchy and cyber decision-making processes.
  • physical and logical network devices and infrastructure to include hubs, switches, routers, firewalls, etc.
  • telecommunications fundamentals.
  • the basic structure, architecture, and design of modern communication networks.
  • the basics of network security (e.g., encryption, firewalls, authentication, honey pots, perimeter protection).
  • the common networking and routing protocols (e.g. TCP/IP), services (e.g., web, mail, DNS), and how they interact to provide network communications.
  • the ways in which targets or threats use the Internet.
  • threat and/or target systems.
  • virtualization products (VMware, Virtual PC).
  • what constitutes a “threat” to a network.
  • wireless technologies (e.g., cellular, satellite, GSM) to include the basic structure, architecture, and design of modern wireless communications systems.

Key skills of the Warning Analyst include:

  • conducting non-attributable research.
  • conducting research using deep web.
  • defining and characterizing all pertinent aspects of the operational environment.
  • developing or recommending analytic approaches or solutions to problems and situations for which information is incomplete or for which no precedent exists.
  • evaluating information for reliability, validity, and relevance.
  • identifying alternative analytical interpretations to minimize unanticipated outcomes.
  • identifying critical target elements, to include critical target elements for the cyber domain.
  • identifying cyber threats which may jeopardize organization and/or partner interests.
  • preparing and presenting briefings.
  • providing understanding of target or threat systems through the identification and link analysis of physical, functional, or behavioral relationships.
  • tailoring analysis to the necessary levels (e.g., classification and organizational).
  • using Boolean operators to construct simple and complex queries.
  • using multiple analytic tools, databases, and techniques (e.g., Analyst’s Notebook, A-Space, Anchory, M3, divergent/convergent thinking, link charts, matrices, etc.).
  • using multiple search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, LexisNexis, DataStar) and tools in conducting open-source searches.
  • utilizing feedback to improve processes, products, and services.
  • utilizing virtual collaborative workspaces and/or tools (e.g., IWS, VTCs, chat rooms, SharePoint).
  • writing, reviewing and editing cyber-related Intelligence/assessment products from multiple sources.
Warning Analyst must be able to:
  • communicate complex information, concepts, or ideas in a confident and well-organized manner through verbal, written, and/or visual means.
  • accurately and completely source all data used in intelligence, assessment and/or planning products.
  • clearly articulate intelligence requirements into well-formulated research questions and data tracking variables for inquiry tracking purposes.
  • develop or recommend analytic approaches or solutions to problems and situations for which information is incomplete or for which no precedent exists.
  • effectively collaborate via virtual teams.
  • evaluate information for reliability, validity, and relevance.
  • evaluate, analyze, and synthesize large quantities of data (which may be fragmented and contradictory) into high quality, fused targeting/intelligence products.
  • focus research efforts to meet the customer’s decision-making needs.
  • function effectively in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • function in a collaborative environment, seeking continuous consultation with other analysts and experts—both internal and external to the organization—to leverage analytical and technical expertise.
  • identify intelligence gaps.
  • recognize and mitigate cognitive biases which may affect analysis.
  • recognize and mitigate deception in reporting and analysis.
  • think critically.
  • think like threat actors.
  • utilize multiple intelligence sources across all intelligence disciplines.

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