Cyber crimes are one of the most pressing threats facing our country today. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) deals with cyber crimes such as identity theft, espionage, fraud, intellectual property rights violations, child pornography, extortion and more on a daily basis. As part of a Cyber Action Team (CAT), individuals will have a part in fighting this growing threat to the United States’ national security.
CATs were created by the FBI in response to our increasingly connected and vulnerable digital world. A CAT can instantly respond to cyber attacks that happen both internationally and domestically, and help mitigate them before they become disastrous.
Take a look at how essential Cyber Action Teams are to our security and what you can expect if you’re interested in becoming a part of one.
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The FBI’s Cyber Division
The Bureau’s Cyber Division was established back in 2006 and currently has about 50 members in field offices across the nation. The division’s members are either computer scientists or special agents with advanced training in subjects related to cyber crime, such as malware analysis.
Since the Cyber Division began, hundreds of cyber crimes have been investigated. When those crimes required a rapid response, the Cyber Action Team was called upon to use their specialized, timely skills.
Different Career Roles in a Cyber Action Team
Because CATs have the federal government’s resources at their fingertips, they are to act quickly and efficiently. A CAT may work to identify cyber criminals and develop security systems to restrict them from gaining access, or they may decipher malignant codes in emergency situations. The team’s actions not only protect the government’s digital records and information, they keep the general public safe as well. Collaboration with companies like Google or Microsoft is part of how a CAT keeps the public informed.
CATs will also collaborate with international law enforcement agencies in order to stop overseas threats to U.S. interests. Both domestically and abroad, a CAT’s responsibilities may include the following:
- Traveling under short notice to quickly respond to cyber attacks and threats.
- Investigating attacks on the government’s information systems.
- Collaborating with industry experts to develop security systems with specialized capabilities.
- Tracking new developments in technology that can change cyber crime tactics and approaches.
- Investigating real-life crime scenes where computers or other data storage devices have been tampered with or compromised.
Salaries for Cyber Action Teams
Staff for a CAT consists of computer forensics examiners, Special Agents and intelligence analysts. The Special Agents’ job usually starts at the GS-10 pay grade and can go up to GS-15. Intelligence and computer professionals’ wages may start at the the GS-7 or GS-9 pay grade, depending on their experience and education. They are eligible for promotion up to the GS-12 pay grade.
If you are interested in a career as part of a CAT, you can play a huge part in keeping our nation safe from online threats. Whether a company’s critical, sensitive data has been hacked or terrorist cyber threats have been made towards a government agency, a Cyber Action Team can provide the rapid response and expertise needed to quickly address these digital crimes.