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Army Air Force Navy

Cyber Operator

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time


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Overview

Cyber Operators conduct defensive cyber operations, and when required and where feasible, active cyber operations. They liaise and work collaboratively with other government departments and agencies, as well as with Canada’s allies to enhance the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) ability to provide a secure cyber environment. They monitor CAF communication networks to detect and respond to unauthorized network access attempts and provide cyber support to meet the operational requirements of the Navy, Army, Air Force, and joint enablers.

A Cyber Operator has the following responsibilities:

  • Collect, process and analyze network data
  • Identify network vulnerabilities
  • Manage a computer network environment
  • Conduct defensive and active cyber operations
  • Apply security and communications knowledge in the field of information technology
  • Use and maintain classified and unclassified records and publications

Work environment

Cyber Operators work with extremely sensitive information in a high-security environment, within restricted-access facilities. Cyber Operators are required to work shift work throughout their careers however, they have frequent opportunities for employment in positions that work regular business hours. Cyber Operators serve in the sea, land or air environment, and on deployed operations around the world. They can also be employed in exchange positions as part of the personnel exchange program with United States armed forces or other allied nations.

Career Overview

Transcript

TITLE:

CYBER OPERATOR

SERGEANT AMY LAURITZEN: I'm Sergeant Amy Lauritzen from Alliston, Ontario, a Cyber Operator currently posted to the Canadian Forces Network Operations Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

Cyber Operators monitor Canadian Armed Forces communication and data networks on a 24/7 basis to meet the operational requirements of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Special Forces. Their work includes collecting, processing and analyzing network data; identifying network vulnerabilities; and managing computer network environments. They conduct defensive cyber operations, and when required and where feasible, launch active cyber operations to secure their networks.

SERGEANT AMY LAURITZEN: Cyber operators defend Canadian information systems from hostile threat actors by implementing security procedures and hunting for malicious activity on the network.

Cyber Operators work with extremely sensitive information in a high-security environment, typically within restricted-access facilities.

SERGEANT AMY LAURITZEN: At the Canadian Forces Network Operations Centre, we are the first and last line of defence for military networks. We’re the pointy end in the cyber domain, so we're analogous to the Army who's out on the battlefield fighting – we’re the ones in the trenches fighting in the cyber domain. It’s going to be even more important as time goes on because we’re constantly under attack in the cyber domain and when you find something and you’ve been looking for it for a while, it’s pretty exciting.

Cyber Operators work collaboratively with other government departments and agencies, as well as with Canada’s allies to enhance the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to provide a secure cyber environment.

SERGEANT AMY LAURITZEN: Anyone who likes problem-solving and thinks in a sort of logical way will do well in this environment.

SERGEANT AMY LAURITZEN: For me, the coolest part of the job is you're always doing something different. You get a lot of chances to expand your own knowledge. The people I work with in the Cyber trade are some of the smartest people I’ve ever met in my life. They’re all really motivated, they’re all really, really nice, very supportive of everything that you do.

Cyber Operators serve in the sea, land or air environment, and on deployed operations around the world. They can also be employed in exchange positions as part of personnel exchange programs with the armed forces of the United States or other allied nations.

SERGEANT AMY LAURITZEN: You'll never be like just assigned a big task and then left on your own – especially when you're a new person. You'll also get chances very early to give your input on how you think things could be better.

SERGEANT AMY LAURITZEN: My career in the military so far, it's been very challenging. I got to do a lot of really cool things. I've learned a lot of really interesting technical concepts. I've met a lot of really smart people and we're all just sort of working towards the same goal. And we're all there because it matters

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Internet Security Analyst
  • Network Support Analyst
  • Computer Incident Response Specialist
  • Cyber Reporter
  • Systems Auditor

Training

The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the core skills and knowledge common to all military occupations. Another objective for the course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the CAF physical fitness standard. As a result, the training is physically demanding.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

After your BMQ you will be sent to a CAF-approved college program on computer network security where you will learn:

  • Software development
  • Network Situational Awareness
  • How to respond to and report on cyber events
  • How to conduct analyses

After successful completion of the college program, or if you already have a diploma from an approved institution, you will attend the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics (CFSCE) in Kingston, Ontario, for approximately 16 weeks. Using a combination of theory, demonstrations, practical work and simulation exercises, the CFSCE course will cover:

  • Cyber Operations
  • Data capture and statistical analysis
  • Communications and data security
  • Operation of auxiliary equipment

Cyber Operators may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:

  • Network vulnerability evaluations and assessments
  • Digital forensics
  • Threat intelligence analysis
  • Active cyber tasks
  • Malware identification and analysis
  • Cyber event mitigation

Cyber Operators who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential may be selected for career progression opportunities, advanced training, and promotion.

Entry plans

The minimum required education to apply for this position is Secondary high school graduation diploma, Secondary V in Quebec, or equivalency including:

  • Gr 12 Applied Math or Math 526 / SN V/TS  V in Quebec, or,
  • Gr 12, or Secondary V with Computer Studies, Computer Science or Programming

Future Entry Plan: as part of a phased approach to filling Cyber Operator positions within the CAF, we will soon accept applications from individuals who have already completed a CAF-endorsed college program (see the CAF-ACE website for information, or contact your nearest recruiting centre).