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Understanding Blue Team Roles

Melissa BoyleMelissa Boyle 21/03/2024

There are a wide range of defensive cyber security, or "blue team", roles in our industry. In this blog post we'll introduce you to the following: SOC Analyst, Incident Responder, Malware Analyst, Threat Intelligence Analyst, Vulnerability Analyst, and Digital Forensics Analyst.

What is Defensive Cyber Security?

Defensive cybersecurity is a set of practices, procedures, and technologies that organizations implement to protect their computer systems, networks, and sensitive information from unauthorized access, theft, damage, or disruption. The goal of defensive cybersecurity is to minimize the risk of security breaches and the impact of successful attacks on an organization's operations, assets, and reputation.


Blue Team Roles Explained

Below we'll introduce some of the more common defensive cybersecurity roles, but there are lots more out there!


SOC Analyst

A Security Operations Centre (SOC) Analyst is responsible for keeping an organization's computer networks, systems, and applications safe from cyber threats. They monitor security alerts and investigate potential security incidents to determine their severity and take appropriate action to prevent potential damage. SOC Analysts also maintain and update security tools and technologies, develop security procedures, and provide training to other employees on how to identify and respond to security incidents. Their role is critical in protecting an organization's sensitive data and maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of its systems.


Incident Responder

An Incident Responder (or Incident Response Analyst) is responsible for investigating and responding to cyber incidents that threaten an organization's security. They work to contain and mitigate the impact of an incident, identify the root cause, and restore normal operations as quickly as possible. Incident Responders also collaborate with other teams, such as the SOC (Security Operations Center), to determine whether the incident is part of a larger attack and to implement measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. They may also be responsible for documenting incidents and reporting them to management or external stakeholders as appropriate. Their role is critical in minimizing the damage caused by cyber attacks and ensuring that the organization can continue to operate effectively.


Malware Analyst

A Malware Analyst is responsible for analyzing and identifying different types of malware that can potentially harm a computer system or network. They work to understand how malware functions, and how it can be detected and removed. They will utilize various tools and techniques to analyze malware, including reverse engineering, static and dynamic analysis, and Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) checks. Malware Analysts collaborate with other security professionals, such as Incident Responders and Threat Intelligence analysts, to identify and respond to malware threats effectively. They also stay up-to-date with the latest malware trends and techniques to ensure that their organization is protected from new and emerging threats. Their role is critical in protecting organizations from malware attacks and minimizing the impact of any infections that occur.


Threat Intelligence Analyst

A Threat Intelligence Analyst is responsible for monitoring and analyzing the threat landscape to identify potential security risks to an organization. They gather and analyze information from a variety of sources, including open-source intelligence, social media, and the dark web, to identify potential threats. They use this information to create threat intelligence reports that provide actionable insights to other security professionals, such as Incident Responders and Malware Analysts. Threat Intelligence Analysts also work to identify emerging threats and trends in the threat landscape, and develop strategies to mitigate these risks. They collaborate with other security professionals to ensure that the organization is prepared to respond to potential threats effectively. Their role is critical in helping organizations stay ahead of potential threats and minimize the impact of any security incidents that occur.


Vulnerability Analyst

A Vulnerability Analyst is a professional responsible for identifying and assessing vulnerabilities in an organization's software, networks, and systems. Their primary goal is to identify potential weaknesses that could be exploited by attackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information or cause disruption to business operations. Vulnerability analysts use a variety of tools and techniques to scan and assess systems, including vulnerability scanners and penetration testing. They also analyze data to prioritize vulnerabilities based on their severity and potential impact. Once vulnerabilities are identified, Vulnerability Analysts work with other security professionals to develop and implement mitigation strategies to address them, or report the issues to relevant stakeholders such as system owners or the IT team so updates or patches can be applied to address the vulnerability. Their work is critical in helping organizations maintain the security and integrity of their systems and protect against potential cyber threats.


Digital Forensics Analyst

A Digital Forensics Analyst is a professional who investigates digital devices and media to collect and analyze evidence for legal or investigative purposes. They use specialized software and techniques to recover data from devices such as computers, smartphones, and storage devices, and analyze that data to reconstruct events or activities that occurred on those devices. Digital Forensics Analysts may work in law enforcement agencies, government organizations, or private companies and their work can be used in a variety of contexts, including criminal investigations, civil litigation, and corporate investigations. Their work requires a deep understanding of digital systems and data storage, as well as legal and ethical considerations related to the collection and use of digital evidence.

Melissa Boyle

Melissa Boyle

Melissa is CySec Careers' Marketing Manager and compiles our industry reports and career guides.