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Information Security

Information security can mean protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction. This goes beyond just computers and networks. Risks and threats can come from individuals, acts of nature, and new technology.

This topic affects everyone in the federal workforce - top to bottom. Thus, it is also the responsibility of everyone in the federal workforce to protect the information from threats.

Share your experience with securing information.

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vandenm2  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, December 22, 2010 2:30:38 AM(UTC)
vandenm2

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Posts: 63

Does anyone have any sample knowledge, skills, abilities for the Information Technology Specialist (Information Security) position?
robtonet  
#2 Posted : Monday, January 10, 2011 10:17:35 PM(UTC)
robtonet

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used to be in an opm handbook x118---i think, but they have to directly and specifically address the needs/skills/exp, etc  of that particular job you are applying to,
anirow  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, April 26, 2011 9:22:35 PM(UTC)
anirow

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I think you should visit this link, http://www.census.gov/hrd/www/jobs/it.html. Here you can find some relevant information.
SunBeam  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, December 21, 2011 5:56:00 AM(UTC)
SunBeam

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This may not be the exact response but hope it helps if one is new to KSA writing. The following are excerpts from two or three books I have. 

Knowledge statements refer to an organized body of information usually of a factual or procedural nature which makes adequate performance on the job possible. For example, knowledge of policies, programs guidelines and procedures relating to human resources and other administrative areas related to airport security.

Skill statements refer to the proficient manual, verbal or mental manipulation of data or things. Skills can be readily measured by a performance test. Examples of proficient manipulation of things are skill in typing or skill in operating a vehicle. Examples of proficient manipulation of data are skill in computation using decimals or skill in editing for transposed numbers.

Ability statements refer to the power to perform an observable activity at the present time. This means that abilities have been demonstrated through activities or behaviors that are similar to those required on the job, such as ability to plan and organize work.

How are KSAs created?
HR staff and managers collaborate on specific competencies required for positions. These
competencies lead to KSAs. For each KSAs ask yourself these six questions as a "checklist"
regarding individual tasks you performed.
1. What were the circumstances of the situation?
2. What action was performed, and why?
3. For who was the action performed?
4. What problems/challenges did you encounter, and how did you solve them?
5. What were the accomplishments?
6. Did the action produce a significant impact on others or the work environment?

KSA Samples - (IT Specialist, GS-2210-11/14) - Not specific to Security, but hope this helps: 

(1)   Ability to plan, direct and organize work products by determining priorities and allocating
resources.

(2)   Ability to manage or direct independent teams and contractors, with a focus on developing or
maintaining health care program-related systems and applications.

(3)   Experience in building a team, leading a team, and working group or contractors.

(4)   Experience planning, coordinating, and execution of business functions through the use of
information technology.

(5)   Extensive technical skill in the installation, configuration, and maintenance of Unix and
Windows operating systems, server hardware components, advanced data storage solutions,
network and telecommunications issues in a production support environment. (Just will address this one due to space considerations)

As a network administrator and operator with the Department of Justice (DOJ) I have had much
experience over the years installing, configuring and maintaining Unix and Windows operating
systems, server hardware components, advanced data storage solutions, and network and
telecommunications issues in a production support environment. My first experience, however, was
in my position with the Justice Management Division (JMD) of DOJ in 2001. It was my task as Lead
IT Specialist to purchase, configure and install our servers at the server farm in Rockville, MD.

One of the challenges in this instance was to research the options to determine the best hardware and software suited for the project. We had a budget of just over $150,000 to work with and we were looking for 10 servers that had fast processors and could bring up a lot of data at any given time without being bogged down. Specifically, we were looking for speed, stability and reliability in the servers. Another challenge was to find a good location for the servers. My research indicated that a server farm in Rockville, MD would be the most affordable and secure.

After additional extensive research I decided to use Unix because of the stability of the operating
system, as well it being cost effective. My research also indicated that it would be reliable and fast. I chose a Windows Server 2003 because a lot of the applications and programs we were developing were on that platform. We used exchange for email and configured all the users systems to work properly with Outlook pulling mail from the exchange server. We performed backups weekly upon all systems to the servers.

While working for the DOJ I have also had opportunities to excel utilizing my technical skills in this
area, and I regularly perform installations of software and equipment for users. In one instance, I was tasked to work on a telecommunications installation to enable more than 800 users to connect through an exchange server to their Sprint blackberry phones.

The main challenges of the project were the actual software installations and the configuration of
Blackberry with Outlook and the exchange server. There was a variety of technical problems during
this installation. Most problems were resolved by the techs communicating with one another to
resolve the problems in the best way.

As a result of my technical skills I was able to overcome the problems of troubleshooting and
repairing the multiple requests of users throughout the Department that ranged from payroll to
logistic software. Users now have access to a variety of data, including: personnel, medical, training, equipment, and payroll software, as well as voice communications at all locations where users are able to have access to service.

More recently a junior IT Specialist was tasked with the installation of an Apache module version on a UNIX machine. Although he followed the correct procedures for the installation, all of my PHP scripts were showing on the browser and we were being asked to save the file. I took the lead and investigated the problem. I knew that the PHP module was not getting invoked for some reason.

The first thing I did was to make sure that the httpd binary we were running was the actual new httpd binary that was installed. I run /path/to/binary/httpd -1 and discovered that we were running the right binary. Then I had to make sure that the correct Mime Type for the Apache server was correct. This also seemed to be correct but we were still getting PHP scripts showing in the browser. Finally, after additional research I discovered that the default location of the Apache configuration files changed between Apache 1.2 and Apache 1.3. The configuration file that was originally added to the AddType line was not being read, and this was the cause of PHP not being invoked. I made a quick edit to the location of the configuration file and our problem went away.

The first thing I did was to make sure that the httpd binary we were running was the actual new httpd binary that was installed. I run /path/to/binary/httpd -1 and discovered that we were running the right binary. Then I had to make sure that the correct Mime Type for the Apache server was correct. This also seemed to be correct but we were still getting PHP scripts showing in the browser. Finally, after additional research I discovered that the default location of the Apache configuration files changed between Apache 1.2 and Apache 1.3. The configuration file that was originally added to the AddType line was not being read, and this was the cause of PHP not being invoked. I made a quick edit to the location of the configuration file and our problem went away.


SunBeam  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, December 21, 2011 6:09:01 AM(UTC)
SunBeam

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Just keep these in mind as you write KSAs (From OPM's MOSAIC which is the Multipurpose Survey-based Occupational Systems Analysis Inventory.)

Classification Standards:

Project Manager:
Customer Service, Decision Making, Flexibility, Interpersonal Skills, Leadership, Oral
Communication, Organizational Awareness, Problem Solving, Reasoning, Team Building, and
Writing. Business Process Reengineering, Capital Planning and Investment Assessment,
Contracting/Procurement, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Financial Management, Planning and Evaluating,
Project Management, Quality Assurance, Requirements Analysis, and Risk Management.

IT Project Manager:
In addition to the knowledge, skills, and abilities/competencies required of all project managers, IT
project managers also require specific knowledge, skills, and abilities/competencies in applying most of these:

Configuration Management, Data Management, Information Management, Information Resources
Strategy and Planning, Information Systems/Network Security, Information Technology
Architecture, Information Technology Performance Assessment, Infrastructure Design, Systems
Integration, Systems Life Cycle, and Technology Awareness.

The top ten competencies for Supervisory positions are: Integrity, Written Communication,
Accountability, Flexibility, Financial Management, Strategic Thinking, Workforce Management,
Verbal Communication, Decisiveness, Computer Literacy and Mentoring (tied);

The top ten competencies for Managerial positions are: Integrity, Team Work, Accountability, Selfdirection, Mentoring, Problem-solving, Workforce Management, Decisiveness, Flexibility, Verbal
Communication; 

The top ten competencies for Executive positions are: Technical Knowledge, Creative Thinking,
Verbal Communication, Decisiveness, Mediating, Mentoring, Problem Solving, Perceptiveness,
Self-direction, Flexibility and Influencing and Teamwork (tied);

If you find a KSA that you cannot answer at least 75 percent of the questions, or that is so specific
that you would have had to be in the agency or department to get that experience, you need to avoid
that job. You cannot ignore responding to KSAs. Either you have the knowledge, skill or ability or
you don't.
Always use personal “I”
Always use the active vs. passive voice

Bad: The formal establishment of a revised organizational structure consisting of new self-directed
teams essentially reduced the previous requirement for six supervisory positions. (22 words-passive,
stilted)

Good: I established a new team structure which abolished six supervisory jobs. (11 words-active,
concise)

Follow this formula in writing your KSAs:

CHALLENGE. Describe a specific problem or goal.
CONTEXT. Talk about the individuals and groups you worked with, and/or the environment in
which you worked, to tackle a particular challenge (e.g., clients, co-workers, shrinking budget, low
morale).
ACTION. Discuss the specific actions you took to address a challenge or problem.
OUTCOME. Give specific examples of the results of your actions. These accomplishments
demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills.

Good Luck!


mudpie  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, January 04, 2012 4:49:19 AM(UTC)
mudpie

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Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
KSAs were eliminated last year according to OPM. All announcements must be multiple choice questions. However, building a resume using OPM's classification guides is a very very good idea since agencies do use electronic rating systems that scan resumes for key words and phrase.
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