The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

SFIA - a framework for cyber security skills

 building security skills into every professional job for a security-minded culture ...

Using SFIA for cybersecurity skills management Using SFIA for cyber security skills management 

SFIA can be used in any workforce management activities where you need to talk about skills.
In cybersecurity talent management, a skills-based approach is key. Organisations can combine skills-based recruitment, targeted professional development and career pathways. SFIA describes real-world skills and responsibilities; so that employers can draw from a wider, more diverse talent pool. Regular developmental conversations paired with strategic upskilling and reskilling keeps the workforce agile and prepared for emerging threats. This combats skill shortages and integrates cybersecurity skills and responsibilities across multiple roles, embedding responsibilities throughout the organization, not just within specialist positions. 
SFIA and skills management

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SFIA's 7 levels describe increasing, responsibility and impact7 levels describing increasing responsibility, accountability and impact

  • SFIA's seven levels of responsibility provide a comprehensive framework for the cybersecurity profession, emphasizing practical skills and work experience rather than solely academic knowledge or time in the field.
  • This approach aligns job roles with present-day security demands, ensuring that practitioners at all levels have the necessary expertise to combat cyber threats.
  • It promotes targeted professional development, describing a full range of skills and responsibilities;  basic task execution, operational delivery, subject matter expertise, operational  management, and strategic leadership at an executive level. 
  • Emphasising actual capabilities and developmental potential, SFIA equips a cybersecurity workforce ready to meet and manage the sector's evolving challenges effectively.

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SFIA skills cover a wide range of professional cyber security activitiesSFIA skills cover a wide range of professional cyber security activities

  • SFIA skill descriptions span the professional landscape of cybersecurity, addressing needs for both specialist and non-specialist roles.
  • They outline the fundamental security expertise central to dedicated cybersecurity jobs, along with the cybersecurity elements required in other roles and jobs.
  • This includes general skills adaptable to security contexts and the responsibilities and know-how for integrating security into diverse areas such as software development, infrastructure management, and managing the supply chain for technology.
  • SFIA facilitates a comprehensive embedding of secure practices across an organization, ensuring all roles are equipped with the appropriate level of cybersecurity understanding and capabilities.

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Applying SFIA skills to cyber security focus areas

  • SFIA provides a structured and consistent approach to defining cybersecurity skills. Each skill is clearly described, supplemented by guidance notes, and detailed level-by-level practice descriptions that align with the framework's 7 levels of responsibility. Skills at a glance.
  • This uniform structure ensures ease of navigation and understanding, seamlessly integrating professional skills with behavioural factors to outline comprehensive role expectations.
  • The consistent detail across all levels ensures robustness, allowing for precise skills and competency assessment.
  • The clarity in describing the nuances of cybersecurity roles at every responsibility level makes it invaluable for developing and benchmarking cybersecurity capabilities within an organisation.
  • As well as specialised cybersecurity skills, cyber professionals can draw on a range of other skills which are re-useable in the wider organisational context. e.g. Risk management, Solution architecture

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