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DHS Cybersecurity Service Mitigation and Response - Technical in Washington

Mitigation and Response - Technical

Department of Homeland Security

DHS Headquarters


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is recruiting professionals to support a range of technical roles in Mitigation and Response, including Cyber Defense Incident Responder, Cyber Incident Response Analyst, and Cyber Intrusion Detection Specialist. All positions are in the DHS Cybersecurity Service.


  • Accepting applications

Open & closing dates



$115,400- $196,000 per yearRange reflects typical low and high starting salaries available to employees in most of the U.S. See Additional information: Salary for more info.

Pay scale & grade

DC 2


many vacancies in the following locations:

  • Chandler, AZ

  • Washington

  • Pensacola, FL

  • Idaho Falls, ID

  • Show more locations (2)

  • Stennis Space Center, MS

  • Arlington

Remote job


Telework eligible

Yes—as determined by the agency policy.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position about 1 to 5 days a month.

Relocation expenses reimbursed


Appointment type

Permanent -

Work schedule

Full-time -



Promotion potential


Job family (Series)

2216 Mitigation and Response (DHS Only)

Supervisory status


Security clearance

Sensitive Compartmented Information

Drug test


Position sensitivity and risk

Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk (

Trust determination process

National security (

Announcement number


Control number


This job is open to

The public

U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.


There are a variety of Mitigation and Response opportunities across the Department, including supporting several specialized programs at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) ( and DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) ( .

Depending on your career level and role, DHS Cybersecurity Service employees in the Technical Career Track , with a technical capability in Mitigation and Response , will generally apply their expertise to perform a range of tasks, including:

  • Supporting a team or program in monitoring, analysis, incident response, and handling for DHS or its constituents

  • Proactively analyzing network traffic patterns to identify possible threats - includes analyzing log files from a variety of sources (e.g., individual host logs, network traffic logs, firewall logs, and intrusion detection system [IDS] logs) and using other analytic tools and data science methodologies

  • Actively monitoring DHS environments for potential threats or vulnerabilities, providing DHS or external agency/private industry leadership with situational visibility across the enterprise

  • Creating threat assessments for vulnerabilities on networks, systems software, and hardware and recommending appropriate mitigation

  • Ensuring incidents are managed in accordance with NIST stages of incident handling guidelines and assisting others who are less seasoned in properly applying these standards

  • Customizing communications for different levels of leadership and audiences to provide strategic direction and support to DHS, Component leadership and/or their SOCs, or external constituents to enable mission capabilities

  • Collaborating with internal and external DHS stakeholders in performing critical security operations and incident handling

  • Working with HQ and/or Component NOC/SOCs to block or deny access by hostile sites or restrict access by specific ports/protocols

  • Actively engaging processes to implement, configure, monitor, and maintain Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools to monitor, detect and respond to threats on DHS or federal/national partner networks and enclaves

  • Applying techniques for gathering, recovering, analyzing, interpreting, preserving, and presenting information and digital evidence (from computers, mobile devices, websites, network packets, et al.) to support legal prosecution or other departmental requirements

  • Integrating stakeholder feedback when recommending recovery action plans for repairs, including mitigation strategies for interim system vulnerabilities/deficiencies

  • Customizing communications (e.g., incident updates and after-action reports) to emphasize the most critical information and address anticipated follow-up concerns of specific target audiences

  • Proposing and maintaining, a suite of cybersecurity tools, to include SIEM and Endpoint Security Tools

  • Working with designated managers, cyber incident responders, and cybersecurity service provider team members in handling suspected cyber incidents articulating the event's history, status, and potential impact for further action in accordance with the organization's cyber incident response plan.

  • Collaborating with team members to collect intrusion artifacts (e.g., source code, malware, trojans) and using discovered data to enable mitigation of potential cyber defense incidents within the enterprise in accordance with recovery action plans.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or national.

  • You must be 18 years of age.

  • Must be registered for the Selective Service (if you are a male).

  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. Security clearance levels may vary.

  • Must be able to submit to a drug test and receive a negative result.

  • Must be able to comply with ethics and standards of conduct requirements, including completing any applicable financial disclosure.

  • May be required to serve a 3 year probationary period.

  • Remote work may be available for some positions.

  • While many these positions are considered telework, some individuals must live within 2 hours driving distance to a DHS SCIF in either Chandler, AZ; Stennis, MS; Idaho Falls; Arlington, VA; Pensacola, FL; or Washington, D.C.


This position is in the Technical Track across a range of career levels. Employees in this career track generally:

  • Have between 5-15 years of cybersecurity work experience.

  • Range from experienced cybersecurity professionals who apply technical expertise and independent judgement to perform cybersecurity work - to - recognized Federal cybersecurity technical authorities with uncommon technical expertise who advise on cybersecurity challenges impacting DHS and the Nation.

DHS Cybersecurity Service employees with a technical capability in Mitigation and Response will generally:

  • Track and respond to prioritized urgent IT and cyber events and indicators of compromise (IOCs) to mitigate threats to networks, systems, and applications.

  • Investigate and analyze response activities and employs various advanced response and recovery approaches as appropriate.

  • Apply understanding of tactics, techniques, and procedures for investigative processes, including identifying adversaries' TTPs and applying corresponding defense or security controls.

  • Conduct root cause analysis and response coordination, providing recommendations for mitigation.

  • Execute recovery action plans and adapts plans to handle new developments.

DHS Cybersecurity Service employees start at career levels and salaries matching their experience and expertise. To learn more about DHS Cybersecurity Service career tracks and levels, visit our application portal ( .


Degrees are not required for jobs in the DHS Cybersecurity Service, but DHS is interested in your level of education and the topics you studied. As you submit initial application information, you will be asked questions about your education.

Additional information

Salary: Listed salary ranges reflects typical starting salaries available to employees in most of the United States across applicable career levels. Within the provided range, average salaries vary for each career level.

Senior Cybersecurity Specialist: $115,400 - $123,700

Staff Cybersecurity Specialist: $140,400 - $150.200

Principal Cybersecurity Specialist: $167,400 - $177,800

Senior Principal Cybersecurity Specialist: $184,700 - $196,000

In some geographic areas, average starting salaries will be higher because of a local cybersecurity labor market supplement (e.g., metro Washington, D.C. +10%).

Actual salaries of individual employees may be higher or lower than provided figures. For an overview of the salaries available in the DHS Cybersecurity Service, visit Resources ( .

Benefits: DHS Cybersecurity Service employees receive a range of federal employment benefits designed to support their professional and personal lives. To learn more about benefits, visit our application portal ( .

More information about the specific benefits available to you will be provided as you progress through the application process.

Background Investigation: To ensure the accomplishment of its mission, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires each and every employee to be reliable and trustworthy. To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully complete a background investigation for a security clearance as a condition of placement in this position. This review includes financial issues such as delinquency in the payment of debts, child support and/or tax obligations, as well as certain criminal offenses and illegal use or possession of drugs.

Pursuant to Executive Order 12564 and DHS policy, DHS is committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace and, therefore, conducts random and other drug testing of its employees in order to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Headquarters personnel in safety- or security-sensitive positions are subject to random drug testing and all applicants tentatively selected for employment at DHS Headquarters are subject to drug testing resulting in a negative test result.

  • A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits ( .Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

All DHS Cybersecurity Service applicants participate in a multi-phase assessment process, which varies by career track. For the Technical Career Track, applicants participate in a two-phase assessment process:

  • You must successfully complete each phase to advance to the next phase.

  • The total time commitment for the two phases is approximately 3 hours (many applicants require less time!).

  • Before each phase, DHS will e-mail you instructions and information to help you prepare.

  • Assessments are time sensitive, so monitor your e-mail to ensure you have plenty of time to complete them prior to any deadlines.


  • Unproctored - you choose the time and location.

  • Includes two assessments: (1) a work styles inventory that will take about 30 minutes to complete; (2) a work simulation that you will have up to 2 hours to complete.

  • The two assessments take about 90 minutes (on average) to complete.

  • Requires a computer with audio (speakers or headphones) and a reliable internet connection.

  • No knowledge of DHS or cybersecurity is required for these assessments, which measure non-technical capabilities that are important for professional success in the DHS Cybersecurity Service. This includes how you communicate, analyze information, and collaborate with others:

  • The work styles inventory presents you with questions about your work-related interests and preferences.

  • The work simulation presents you with realistic, work-related scenarios and asks you to respond to them.


  • Proctored - must be scheduled in advance and completed at a designated assessment center.

  • There is a different assessment for each DHS Cybersecurity Service technical capability (visit Jobs ( to learn more about the technical capabilities).

  • Most individuals only have a primary technical capability and complete only one Technical Capability Assessment, but in limited circumstances, you may complete a second Technical Capability Assessment.

  • You will have up to 2.5 hours to complete each Technical Capability Assessment; each takes about 90 minutes (on average) to complete

  • Assessments present realistic, work-related cybersecurity scenarios and questions to assess technical skills.

  • Cybersecurity knowledge is assessed, but no knowledge of DHS is required.

*Some applicants who successfully complete Phase II may be asked to participate in a Phase III: Advanced Technical Interview. This scenario-based interview is used to further assess an applicant's proficiency in a technical capability. More information will be provided to such applicants as they progress through the application process.

To learn about the assessment process for this Technical Track position, visit our portal ( and read the "Assessment Process" guide.

Required Documents

  1. Your résumé. To help you prepare your resume before applying to the DHS Cybersecurity Service, visit our application portal ( and read the "Resume Tips" guide.

  2. If you are requesting a reasonable accommodation to the online assessments, submit documentation to support your request, including the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form found here ( .

  3. If you are a current or former political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee please submit a copy of your applicable SF-50, along with a statement that provides the following information regarding your most recent political appointment:- Position title- Type of appointment (Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES, or Presidential Appointee)- Agency- Beginning and ending dates of appointment

How to Apply

To apply for this position, you must complete the initial online questionnaire, required assessments, and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on 04/16/2023 to receive consideration. The application process will follow the bullets outlined below.

  1. To begin the application process, click the Apply Online button.

  2. Answer the questions presented in the application and attach all necessary supporting documentation.

  3. Click the Submit Application button prior to 11:59PM (ET) on the announcement closing date.

  4. After submitting an online application, you will be notified whether or not you are required to take additional online assessments through the USA HIRE platform. This message will be delivered via email notification.

  5. If you are asked to take the online assessments, you will be presented with a unique URL to access the USA Hire system. Access to USA Hire is granted through your USAJOBS login credentials.

Be sure to review all instructions prior to beginning online assessments. Note: set aside at least 3 hours to take these assessments; however, most applicants complete the assessments in less time. If you need to stop the assessments and continue at a later time, you can re-use the URL sent to you via email and also found on the Additional Application Information page that can be located in the application record in your USAJOBS account.

Reasonable Accommodation Requests: If you believe you have a disability (i.e., physical or mental), covered by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended and Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 as amended, that would interfere with completing online assessments on the USA HIRE platform, you will be granted the opportunity to request a reasonable accommodation in your online application. Requests for Reasonable Accommodations for the USA Hire Competency Based Assessments and appropriate supporting documentation for Reasonable Accommodation must be received prior to starting the online assessments. Decisions on requests for Reasonable Accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. If you meet the minimum qualifications of the position, after notification of the adjudication of your request, you will receive an email invitation to complete the online assessments. You must complete all assessments within 48 hours of receiving the URL to access the online assessments. To determine if you need a Reasonable Accommodation, please review the Procedures for Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation for online assessments here: .

Agency contact information

DHS Cybersecurity Service Talent Team



Cybersecurity Talent Management System

245 Murray Lane SW

Washington, DC 20528


Next steps

The DHS Cybersecurity Service application process is designed to both prioritize fairness to all applicants and identify qualified candidates to join the DHS Cybersecurity Service. Successful applicants proceed through the following steps and will receive notifications as each step is completed: Submit Initial Information

  • Upload resume

  • Answer questions about your expertise and experience

Assessment + Interview

  • Complete multi-phase assessment process

  • Interview with the team you might join

Tentative Job Offer + Background Investigation

  • Receive a tentative job offer, including your compensation and benefits package

  • Receive an invitation to start the background investigation process

Final Job Offer + Start Date

  • Receive a final job offer

  • Determine your start date

We will notify you by email after each of these steps has been completed. Your status will also be updated on USAJOBS throughout the process. To check your status, log on to your USAJOBS account, click on "Application Status," and then click "More Information."

Note: If you successfully complete the application process and receive a tentative DHS Cybersecurity Service job offer, applicable employment eligibility requirements, including those you must comply with throughout your appointment at DHS, will be communicated to you in writing.

Any offers of employment made pursuant to this announcement will be consistent with all applicable authorities, including Presidential Memoranda, Executive Orders, interpretive U. S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance, and Office of Management and Budget plans and policies concerning hiring. These authorities are subject to change.

DHS uses e-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities.(

To learn more about DHS Cybersecurity Service employment eligibility, visit our application portal ( .

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy

  • Reasonable accommodation policy

  • Financial suitability

  • Selective Service

  • New employee probationary period

  • Signature and false statements

  • Privacy Act

  • Social security number request