IT Cybersecurity Specialist (Security)

Washington, D.C
Oct 22, 2019
Oct 29, 2019
IT, Security Engineer
Full Time


This announcement is issued under the direct-hire authority to recruit for positions for which there is a critical need. Selectee(s) will receive a career or career-conditional appointment in the competitive service and may be required to serve a one-year probationary period. Category rating, veteran's preference and traditional rating and raking of applicants do not apply to this public notice.

This position is located in USDA's Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO).
Learn more about this agency


  • The Information Security Center (ISC), Security Management Division provides leadership in the development and deployment of security engineering solutions into the everyday business of the Department.
  • As an IT Cybersecurity Specialist you will provide cybersecurity program management support, policy development, and technical review. Support all aspects of the planning and implementation of cybersecurity and its associated initiatives.
  • Implement new and improve security methods, policies, and procedures, using initiative, creativity, and resourcefulness to apply multiple, highly diverse and complicated technical solutions, and must deviate at times from traditional methods.
  • Plan and investigate missions-critical cybersecurity violations that affect the integrity of an agency-wide information technology (IT) infrastructure, such as unauthorized access to financial systems or national security data.
  • Develop long-range plans for IT security systems that anticipate, identify, evaluate, mitigate and minimize risks associated with cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
  • Design, plan, and execute projects, policies, and procedures in collaboration with team members, other professionals not under the incumbent's supervision, and representatives of other Federal departments and agencies.
  • Provide technical oversight for security operations and engineering expertise in the development of long-range plans. Ensure they are consistent, accurate, and adequately reflect trends and development within IT communities.
  • Review proposed new systems, networks, and software designs for potential security risks. Recommend mitigation or other countermeasures.

Travel Required

25% or less - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be able to obtain a Top Secret Clearance
  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
  • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit


Specialized Experience:
Qualifying experience for GS-14 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-13 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position.

For this position, specialized experience is experience 1) applying TCP/IP, Routing and Switching Technologies, and Network Troubleshooting procedures; 2) performing forensics on cyber incidents; 3) developing plans, schedules, identifying risks and execution; and 4) preparing and presenting briefings to senior management officials on Cybersecurity concepts/topics.

Applicants must have IT-related experience demonstrating each of the four competencies listed below.

1. Attention to Detail-Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.
2. Customer Service-Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.
3. Oral Communication-Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
4. Problem Solving-Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.

(Note: This experience must be demonstrated on your resume/supporting documents).
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

All qualification requirements must be met by 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on the closing date of the announcement.


There is no education substitution at this grade level.

Additional information

- DRUG TESTING: This is a Testing Designated Position (TDP). Selectee must submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and random testing thereafter. Final appointment and continued employment is conditional on negative results for illegal drug use.
- Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. If selected you will be subject to a National Agency Check and Inquiry (NACI) and a credit report.
- Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL or ICTAP eligibility see . To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
- This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements.
- Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
- Relocation expenses are not authorized.
- This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Your resume and supporting documentation will be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications, to include any selective placement factor(s), if applicable, for the position.

Under the provisions of the Direct Hire Authority (DHA), veteran's preference does not apply. While veterans' preference does not apply to the DHA, veterans are encouraged to submit their documentation. Applicants who meet the minimum qualification requirements, to include any selective placement factor(s), if applicable and who are otherwise eligible to apply for the position, will be referred for selection consideration. For more information on OPM's authorization for DHA, please visit

Applicants who are displaced Federal employees within the local commuting who are requesting priority consideration under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) or Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) must be determined Well Qualified using the below evaluation criteria.

Well Qualified-Meets the minimum qualifications of the position and is proficient in some, but not all, of the relevant competency.
Qualified-Meets the minimum qualifications of the position but is not proficient in the relative competency to a substantive degree.


Any selections made under this notice will be processed as new appointments to the civil service. Current Federal employees would therefore, be given new appointments to the civil service.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Top Secret

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Critical-Sensitive (CS)/High Risk

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
  • Resume that includes:1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications.
  • If claiming veteran's preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions.If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted.Veteran's preference must be verified prior to appointment.Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
  • If claiming 10-point veteran's preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans' preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
  • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.
* Although Veteran's Preference does not apply to the Direct Hire Authority, upon selection Veteran's documentation may be required.

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