Which government agency is best to go into for cyber-security?
I want to be in a cyber-security team for the US government serving in one of the intelligence branches (CIA, DoD, DIA, FBI, NSA, etc.) and I want to know which one would be best for me. If possible, I'd like to stay in a local area and not have to move to one location (I live in Arizona and want to know which one to be in if I want to stay here). Which one has the best jobs? Best pay?
#cyber-security #fbi #cia #dod #government
The best government agency to go into for cyber-security is the National Security Agency. This is because their specialization is cyber security.
The agencies you are interested in, hire from the military, where you will be trained and tested to your personal integrity. The absolute, most important qualification is to be honest, forth right and never get in to trouble with the law.
Be straightforward in your judgment form this day forward. Simply, your personal behavior and your integrity will be your resume. Can you keep a secret? Your ability to know when to listen and know when (not) to talk.
Ask mom and dad if you can contact your Federal Senator and Congress person to contact people in the government to have an interview and arrange a tour of a facility.
Is going to depend on who you want to work for. Research each one of the agencies you are interested, understand their overall mission or objective, and go from there. When it comes to pay, it is going to vary depending on the location and also the type of role you get into once hired. I know that for the NSA they have Entry Level, Developed, and Full performance. Depending on which want you get hired based on what you bring to the table is going to determine your salary.
One last advise if you have not started, make sure to get really familiar with Kali Linux and any open source applications related to packet capturing or penetration testing to get that hands on training.
I believe the two government agencies most involved in cyber-security are the National Security Agency and the U.S. Cyber Command. Both are semi-autonomous parts of the Department of Defense, but their workforces are a mix of military and civilian. Application to the NSA is through a written exam; I found it tough but really interesting -- lots of focus on recognizing patterns or manipulating multi-dimensional objects or series of numbers, as you might imagine. (There will also be a rigorous security background check if you do well enough on the test.)
All that being said, virtually EVERY federal agency (and their IT departments) will have a very strong cyber-security program. You might want to think about whether your interest is in the purely technical side of cyber-security (algorithms, white hat testing, etc.) or if you want it to be tied to a larger function (e.g., financial fraud, terrorist financing, or criminal investigations). If the latter, you should also look at agencies that have that larger objective (Treasury, FBI...).
Many federal agencies also have internship programs that let interested young people get a taste of the work (and show their chops) before committing to anything. Information on these programs will be available on the agency websites.