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The NICE Framework, NIST Special Publication 800-181, is a national-focused resource that categorizes and describes cybersecurity work. The NICE Framework establishes a taxonomy and common lexicon that describes cybersecurity work and workers irrespective of where or for whom the work is performed. The NICE Framework is intended to be applied in the public, private, and academic sectors.

The NICE Framework is comprised of the following components:

  • Categories (7) – A high-level grouping of common cybersecurity functions.
  • Specialty Areas (33) – Distinct areas of cybersecurity work.
  • Work Roles (52) – The most detailed groupings cybersecurity work comprised of specific knowledgeskills, and abilities required to perform tasks in a work role.


  • Employers, to help assess their cybersecurity workforce, identify critical gaps in cybersecurity staffing, and improve position descriptions;
  • Current and future cybersecurity workers, to help explore Tasks and Work Roles and assist with understanding the KSAs that are being valued by employers for in-demand cybersecurity jobs and positions. The NICE Framework also enables staffing specialists and guidance counselors to use the NICE Framework as a resource to support these employees or job seekers;
  • Training and certification providers seeking to help current and future members of the cybersecurity workforce gain and demonstrate their KSAs;
  • Education providers who use the NICE Framework as a reference to develop curriculum, courses, seminars, and research that cover the KSAs and Tasks described; and 
  • Technology providers who can identify cybersecurity Work Roles and specific Tasks and KSAs associated with the services and hardware/software products they supply.





View information on the inception of the NICE Framework as well as earlier versions of the NICE Framework. 


Revision Process



The NICE Framework is a living document. Learn how revisions are made and what the change request process entails. 






View frequently asked questions about the NICE Framework. Still have a question? Email us.




Created November 8, 2019, Updated May 13, 2020