How to become an Incident Responder
What is an Incident Responder?
In a nutshell, an Incident Responder is responsible for responding to threats and security events. Sounds simple enough, but these are highly-skilled cybersecurity experts who have mastered everything from reverse engineering to penetration testing and more. Incident Responders discover, mitigate and investigate security problems, recording and reporting each problem as it arises. Many Incident Respondents have prior experience in computer forensics and security analysis.
What is the Average Salary?
According to Payscale, Incident Responders make a minimum of $45,300 annually, and a maximum of $122,079 annually, for a median salary of $73,418.
What are an Incident Responder’s Responsibilities?
Because of the expertise and specific skill-set required for an Incident Responder, their job descriptions tend to be shorter and more focused than those I’ve compiled in the past. According to current job listings I’ve read, the most common responsibilities for an Incident Responder are:
- First line responder to reported or detected incidents
- Identify, track and report on emergent threats
- Work with research and engineering teams to provide technical analysis of security issues
- Prioritize and coordinate case-specific response activities
- Create effective communications for internal and external customers
- Communicate effectively with non-technical executives, board members and stake holders
What Educational Background is required?
To be a competitive applicant for this role, one must have a BS in Computer Science, Computer Forensics or related field, have 3+ years of experience and hold at least one relevant certification. On top of all this, one will have to have strong programming language knowledge and experience; working knowledge of Windows, Linux, Cisco and a multitude of environments; advanced analytical skills; strong communication skills; and more specified, technical knowledge.
What Certifications should I take?
With an advanced role, such as the Incident Responder, we’ll skip right past Security+ and the like, and dive right into those advanced certifications that will set you a part, as well as some new certifications which will give you the knowledge you need to succeed on the job:
Where should I start?
To become an Incident Responder, it’s best to start with your formal education and get a Bachelor’s in computer science or something related. Then you will want to find a mentor who will help you accumulate experience as you collect industry certifications to help set you apart.
Incident Responder not for you? Learn How to become a Forensic Computer Analyst here!
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