Cyber Ops Planner Job Profile

What is a Cyber Ops Planner?

The Cyber Ops Planner develops detailed plans for the conduct or support of the applicable range of cyber operations through collaboration with other planners, operators and/or analysts. Participates in targeting selection, validation, synchronization, and enables integration during the execution of cyber actions.

Cyber Ops Planner 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.
  • 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).
  • understanding of operational design.
  • website types, administration, functions, and content management system (CMS).
  • accepted organization planning systems.
  • forms of intelligence support needs, topics, and focus areas.
  • attack methods and techniques (DDoS, brute force, spoofing, etc.).
  • classification and control markings standards, policies and procedures.
  • client organizations, including information needs, objectives, structure, capabilities, etc.
  • 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.).
  • crisis action planning and time sensitive planning procedures.
  • crisis action planning for cyber operations.
  • cryptologic capabilities, limitations, and contributions to cyber operations.
  • cyber actions (i.e. cyber defense, information gathering, environment preparation, cyber-attack) principles, capabilities, limitations, and effects.
  • cyber laws and legal considerations and their effect on cyber planning.
  • cyber operations support or enabling processes.
  • data communications terminology (e.g., networking protocols, Ethernet, IP, encryption, optical devices, removable media).
  • deconfliction processes and procedures.
  • evolving/emerging communications technologies.
  • existing, emerging, and long-range issues related to cyber operations strategy, policy, and organization.
  • fundamental cyber concepts, principles, limitations, and effects.
  • fundamental cyber operations concepts, terminology/lexicon (i.e., environment preparation, cyber-attack, cyber defense), principles, capabilities, limitations, and effects.
  • 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.
  • information security concepts, facilitating technologies and methods.
  • intelligence support to planning, execution, and assessment.
  • internal and external partner cyber operations capabilities and tools.
  • Internet network addressing (IP addresses, classless inter-domain routing, TCP/UDP port numbering).
  • malware.
  • objectives, situation, operational environment, and the status and disposition of internal and external partner collection capabilities available to support planning.
  • operational effectiveness assessment.
  • operations security.
  • organization cyber operations programs, strategies, and resources.
  • organization decision support tools and/or methods.
  • organization issues, objectives, and operations in cyber as well as regulations and policy directives governing cyber operations.
  • organization objectives, leadership priorities, and decision-making risks.
  • organization or partner exploitation of digital networks.
  • organization policies and planning concepts for partnering with internal and/or external organizations.
  • organizational hierarchy and cyber decision-making processes.
  • organizational planning concepts.
  • organizational structures and associated intelligence capabilities.
  • physical and logical network devices and infrastructure to include hubs, switches, routers, firewalls, etc.
  • planning activity initiation.
  • planning timelines adaptive, crisis action, and time-sensitive planning.
  • required intelligence planning products associated with cyber operational planning.
  • staff management, assignment, and allocation processes.
  • target and threat organization structures, critical capabilities, and critical vulnerabilities
  • 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 critical information requirements and how they’re used in planning.
  • the functions and capabilities of internal teams that emulate threat activities to benefit the organization.
  • the information environment.
  • the organizational planning and staffing process.
  • the organizational structure as it pertains to full spectrum cyber operations, including the functions, responsibilities, and interrelationships among distinct internal elements.
  • the outputs of course of action and exercise analysis.
  • the process used to assess the performance and impact of operations.
  • the processes to synchronize operational assessment procedures with the critical information requirement process.
  • the range of cyber operations and their underlying intelligence support needs, topics, and focus areas.
  • the relationships between end states, objectives, effects, lines of operation, etc.
  • the role of network operations in supporting and facilitating other organization operations.
  • the structure and intent of organization specific plans, guidance and authorizations.
  • the structure, architecture, and design of modern digital and telephony networks.
  • the ways in which targets or threats use the Internet.
  • 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 Cyber Ops Planner include:

  • evaluating information for reliability, validity, and relevance.
  • preparing and presenting briefings.
  • utilizing feedback to improve processes, products, and services.
  • utilizing virtual collaborative workspaces and/or tools (e.g., IWS, VTCs, chat rooms, SharePoint).
  • administrative planning activities, to include preparation of functional and specific support plans, preparing and managing correspondence, and staffing procedures.
  • applying analytical methods typically employed to support planning and to justify recommended strategies and courses of action.
  • applying crisis planning procedures.
  • documenting and communicating complex technical and programmatic information.
  • preparing plans and related correspondence.
  • reviewing and editing plans.
  • anticipate key target or threat activities which are likely to prompt a leadership decision.
  • apply the process used to assess the performance and impact of cyber operations.
  • craft indicators of operational progress/success.
  • graphically depict decision support materials containing intelligence and partner capability estimates.
  • developing and executing comprehensive cyber operations assessment programs for assessing and validating operational performance characteristics.
  • distinguish between notional and actual resources and their applicability to the plan under development.
  • synchronize operational assessment procedures with the critical information requirement process.
  • analyze and assess internal and external partner cyber operations capabilities and tools.

Cyber Ops Planner 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.
  • apply critical reading/thinking skills.
  • 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.
  • exercise judgment when policies are not well-defined.
  • effectively collaborate via virtual teams.
  • collaborate effectively with others.

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