This occupation is found in all sectors where information is held digitally and where that information is an asset that needs to be protected including but not limited to finance, retail, telecoms, health, media, manufacturing and local authorities.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide first line cyber security support. This requires individuals to monitor and detect potential security threats and escalate as necessary and to support secure and uninterrupted business operations of an organisation through the implementation of cyber security mechanisms and the application of cyber security procedures and controls. To contribute to the delivery of a security culture across an organisation, understanding vulnerabilities and threats and supporting the development of an organisation’s cyber security maturity. To apply procedures and controls to maintain security and control of an organisation, and process security requests ensuring confidentiality, integrity and availability of information stored digitally.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a wide range of stakeholders including colleagues, managers, customers and internal and external suppliers. They would typically work as a member of a team; this may be office based or virtual. The employee will interact with, and influence colleagues and will have working level contact with customers, suppliers and partners in their capacity as an individual contributor.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for supporting a cyber security function (frequently a Security Operations Centre or Network Operations Centre) working under supervision. The employee will be conducting specific cyber security tasks to defined procedures and standards. Specific cyber security mechanisms and controls that an individual would be required to implement would include: patching software, installing software updates, implementing access control, configuring firewalls, security incident and event management tools (SIEM) tools and protection tools (Anti-virus, Anti-malware, Anti-spam). They will be responsible for their own activities with other resources made available to them as required. As directed, the employee will engage with specific cyber security events. The employee will be expected to work with internal and external stakeholders under general direction. They will use discretion in identifying and responding to complex issues and assignments and will usually receive specific instructions and will have work reviewed at frequent milestones. They will be expected to determine when issues should be escalated to a higher level.

Apprentices must:

Successfully complete 15 months training to develop the occupation standard’s knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs).

Submit a portfolio of evidence showing how they have applied the knowledge from these modules to projects and activities in their workplace.

Complete their formal End Point Assessment, which comprises:

  • a synoptic project to showcase knowledge and skills from across the apprenticeship
  • a review of their portfolio of evidence
  • a final interview with an independent EPA assessor.

K1: Principles of organisational information security governance and the components of an organisation’s cyber security technical infrastructure including hardware, operating systems, networks, software and cloud

K2: Cyber security policies and standards based on an Information Security Management System (ISMS)

K3: Types of physical, procedural and technical controls

K4: Awareness of how current legislation relates to or impacts upon the occupation including Data Protection Act, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, Human Rights Act, Computer Misuse Act, Freedom of Information Act, Official Secrets Act, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), Wireless and Telegraphy Act, professional body codes of conduct, ethical use of information assets

K5: Cyber security awareness and components of an effective security culture, different organisational structures and cultures, the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of an organisation’s information and the impact of a poor security culture

K6: Principles of cyber security compliance and compliance monitoring techniques

K7: Core terminology of cyber security – confidentiality, integrity, availability (the CIA triad), assurance, authenticity, identification, authentication, authorization, accountability, reliability, non-repudiation, access control

K8: Common security administrative operational tasks e.g. patching, software updates, access control, configuring a range of firewalls, security incident and event management tools (SIEM) and protection tools (Anti-virus, Anti-malware, Anti-spam)

K9: Cryptography, certificates and use of certificate management tools

K10: Processes for detecting, reporting, assessing, responding to, dealing with and learning from information security events

K11: Principles of identity and access management – authentication, authorisation and federation – and the inter-relationship between privacy and access rights and access control, and the types of access control, access control mechanisms and application control

K12: Types of digital information assets used in a controlled environment and the need to maintain an inventory of information assets used in a controlled environment and the need for and practice of secure information asset disposal

K13: Disaster prevention and recovery methods and the need for continuity of service planning and how an organisation might implement basic disaster prevention and recovery practices using conventional and incremental secure backup and recovery techniques and tools both onsite and offsite including geographic considerations

K14: Categories of cyber security vulnerabilities and common vulnerability exposures –software misconfiguration, sensitive data exposure, injection vulnerabilities, using components with known vulnerabilities, insufficient logging and monitoring, broken access control and authentication, security misconfiguration, incorrect cross-site validation

K15: Components of a vulnerability assessment scope and techniques to evaluate the results of a vulnerability assessment and provide recommendations based upon the evidence provided by the vulnerability assessment tools. The impact that vulnerabilities might have on an organisation and common vulnerability assessment tools and their strengths and weaknesses

K16: Threat sources and threat identification and network reconnaissance techniques and the impact that threats might have on an organisation

K17: Types of information security events – brute force attack, malware activity, suspicious user behaviour, suspicious device behaviour, unauthorized system changes

K18: Computer forensic principles – the importance of ensuring that evidence is not contaminated and maintaining the continuity of evidence without compromising it

K19: Standard information security event incident, exception and management reporting requirements and how to document incident and event information as part of a chain or evidence

K20: Common information security policies – acceptable use, incident management, patching, anti-virus, BYOD, access control, social media, password, data handling and data classification, IT asset disposal

K21: Cyber security audit requirements, procedures and plans, need to obtain and document evidence in an appropriate form for an internal or external auditor to review

K22: The significance of customer issues, problems, business value, brand awareness, cultural awareness/ diversity, accessibility, internal/ external audience, level of technical knowledge and profile in a business context

K23: Evolving cyber security issues in the digital world including the application to critical national infrastructure, communications technologies, the need for information assurance and governance, control systems and internet of things (IoT) devises

K24: Different learning techniques and the breadth and sources of knowledge and sources of verified information and data

K25: Importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of an organisations information and the impact of a poor security culture

K26: Concepts of service desk delivery and how to respond to requests for assistance received by a service desk and be able to describe different methods of escalation, when to escalate to a higher level where necessary and the need to communicate accurately and appropriately during an escalation

K27: Risk assessment, risk management and business impact analysis principles

K28: How their occupation fits into the wider digital landscape and any current or future regulatory requirements

K29: How to use data ethically and the implications for wider society, with respect to the use of data

K30: Roles within a multidisciplinary team and the interfaces with other areas of an organisation

S1: Follow information security procedures

S2: Maintain information security controls

S3: Develop information security training and awareness resources

S4: Monitor the effectiveness of information security training and awareness

S5: Handle and assess the validity of security requests from a range of internal and external stakeholders

S6: Follow technical procedures to install and maintain technical security controls

S7: Monitor and report information security events

S8: Recognise when and how to escalate information security events in accordance with relevant procedures and standards

S9: Review and modify access rights to digital information systems, services, devices or data

S10: Maintain an inventory of digital information systems, services, devices and data storage

S11: Scopes cyber security vulnerability assessments

S12: Evaluate the results of a cyber security vulnerability assessment

S13: Perform routine threat intelligence gathering tasks through consulting external sources

S14: Undertake digital information risk assessments

S15: Identify and categorise threats, vulnerabilities and risks in preparation for response or escalation

S16: Document cyber security event information whilst preserving evidence

S17: Draft information management reports using standard formats appropriate to the recipients

S18: Review and comment upon cyber security policies, procedures, standards and guidelines

S19: Perform cyber security compliance checks

S20: Translate audit requirements and collate relevant information from log files, incident reports and other data sources

S21: Communication skills to co-operate as part of a multi-functional, multi-disciplinary team using a range of technical and non-technical language to provide an effective interface between internal or external users and suppliers

S22: Keep up-to-date with legislation and industry standards related to the implementation of cyber security in an organisation

B1: Manage own time to meet deadlines and manage stakeholder expectations

B2: Work independently and take responsibility for own actions within the occupation

B3: Use own initiative

B4: A structured approach to the prioritisation of tasks

B5: Treat colleagues and external stakeholders fairly and with respect without bias or discrimination

B6: Act in accordance with occupation specific laws, regulations and professional standards and not accept instruction that is incompatible with any of these

B7: Review own development needs in order to keep up to date with evolution in technologies, trends and innovation using a range of sources

This is a level 3 apprenticeship

18 months including assessment

Register your interest for a cyber security apprenticeship or view current vacancies

How it works

Off the job training
Mentoring
Masterclasses
Online learning
Skills Coach
Virtual labs