Are you an IT support Portland professional seeking to work in cybersecurity? Then you have come to the right place. If you are interested to work for the private sectors concerning cybersecurity, then there is no need for you to have a security clearance. However, if you are applying for a cybersecurity job in the government, then you do need a security clearance. And if in case your job in the private company requires collaboration or connection with any government sector, then a security is a must.
Security clearance explained
All U.S. citizens or U.S. registered companies working with cybersecurity concerning the government requires security clearance. Another term for this is “eligibility for access”, and there are two kinds of security clearances issued by different factions of the government. The two types are:
- Personnel Security Clearances or PCLs
- Facility Security Clearances or FCLS
If you are a naturalized U.S. citizen with a career as IT support Portland professional, then you are eligible to get a security clearance. But for foreign nationals, a security clearance issuance is not possible, though they can be provided with a Limited Access Authorization or LAA.
Issuance of security clearance from the government
Only selected government agencies in the U.S. are given the right to provide security clearances, and these agencies are:
- DoD or Department of Defense, including NSA, NGA, and DIA
- DHS or Department of Homeland Security
- DoJ or department of Justice including FBI
Other government agencies sanctioned to provide security clearances are:
- Departments of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Energy
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Labor, Interior, Transportation
- Department of Treasury
- Department of Veterans Affairs
Aside from government agencies, there are also independent agencies that can provide security clearances. These agencies are:
Among all the government agencies mentioned, the DoD is tasked mostly to give security clearances. This agency provides over 80% of security clearances.
Where security clearances are needed
You only need a security clearance for working in cybersecurity as an IT support Portland professional if you are about to be employed by:
- Government agency
- Government contractor
- Companies that are connected with government contractors
Security clearances are required if your chosen career is in cybersecurity in the government agencies of:
- FBI Cyber
- DHS Cyber
- NSA Cyber
- CIA Cyber
If you plan to work with sensitive and confidential data but the company is not connected with the government, then you don’t need to get a security clearance. But, if you intend to work in cybersecurity, you will definitely undergo intense background check.
Kinds of security clearances for cybersecurity
There are three levels of security clearances that the government can issue. And these are:
This is the highest clearance where you have access to the most sensitive data that will threaten the national security of the information is disclosed. And because this is the most crucial security clearance, you will be subjected to an SSBI or Single Scope Background Investigation, field check, and most likely a polygraph test.
Before you can work as an IT support Portland professional dealing with cybersecurity, your assets and international travels will be perused meticulously. The government agency will conduct interviews about you with your employees, employers, neighbors, colleagues, and other people close to you. And every five years, you are reinvestigated to qualify for the Top Secret security clearance.
Also, if the cybersecurity job involves highly confidential projects such as Special Access programs, then extra security clearances are needed, which are:
- SCI or Sensitive Compartmented Information
- SAP or Special Access Programs
This is a step up from the Confidential security clearance. If ever the information you hold is exposed, it will create grave damage to the country’s national security.
In order to get the Secret security clearance, you will go through a thorough background check that comprises of detailed verification of your employment records, education, and criminal records. All your immediate family and relatives will be checked and interviewed. Fingerprints are used to determine everyone’s credibility, and there will be credit checks as well.
Once you quality as an IT support Portland professional for cybersecurity with a Secret security clearance, you will be reinvestigated every after 10 years.
The Confidential security clearance is the basic level and this is the type of clearance that military personnel typically have. You will gain access to confidential data that can result in measurable damage to the country’s national security if they are exposed.
You will be subjected to the same verification as the Secret security clearance, and your status is reinvestigated and re-evaluated every 15 years.
Process of acquiring a security clearance
The thing is, you cannot begin the process of getting a security clearance. You will be sponsored to get one if you are sanctioned to work on government agencies or programs involving cybersecurity. But if you are applying for a new job in cybersecurity that involves the government, then as an IT support Portland professional, you should be aware of the right process.
1. First, you meet the strict qualifications and you are hired by the employer.
2. You receive a conditional contract of employment.
3. Background Investigation is a must, and with its absence you need to prepare clearance documentation.
4. Once you pass the suitability test from the government agency, a thorough background check is ensued.
5. If your background check passed with flying colors, you get hired.
When you are hired by the government agency, you will then undergo the process of acquiring a security clearance. It will take three to twelve months for you to get one. A completion of the following process is a must:
- Filing of Standard Form 86 9SF86)
- Background Investigation/Background check
Be ready with all your documents to hasten the process, and remember to never lie about anything. Once you passed, you get security clearance as IT support Portland professional.