CyberSec First Responder

Emerging Technologies Certifications

Certified CyberSec First Responder

A CyberSec First Responder® is an IT professional with demonstrated expertise in networking, operating systems, application security, or cloud environments, and their role is to identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover from cybersecurity incidents for their organizations.

To respond effectively to cybersecurity threats and attacks, you require hands-on practice. CertNexus Cybersec First Responder course provides key security concepts and actions while providing considerable opportunities to practice the required skills of a cybersecurity professional.


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CyberSec First Responder Certification

Cybersec first responders have the advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities to deal with an evolving and constantly changing threat landscape, zero-day exploits, and can identify and implement cybersecurity best practices, develop processes for continuous monitoring and detection of potential anomalies, collect and analyze data, accurately report results, are experienced with SIEM and SOAR, and act quickly to mitigate or remediate cyber threats.

CyberSec First Responders play a critical role in securing their organization’s information, business processes, and intellectual property. This course covers network defense and incident response methods, tactics, and procedures that are in alignment with industry frameworks.

CyberSec First Responder Course Overview

This course covers network defense and incident response methods, tactics, and procedures that are in alignment with industry frameworks such as NIST 800-61r2 (Computer Security Incident Handling Guide), US-CERT’s National Cyber Incident Response Plan (NCIRP), and Presidential Policy Directive (PPD)-41 on Cyber Incident Coordination, NIST 800.171r2 (Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Systems and Organizations).

It is ideal for candidates who have been tasked with the responsibility of monitoring and detecting security incidents in information systems and networks, and for executing standardized responses to such incidents.

The course introduces tools, tactics, and procedures to manage cybersecurity risks, defend cybersecurity assets, identify various types of common threats, evaluate the organization’s security, collect and analyze cybersecurity intelligence, and remediate and report incidents as they occur. This course provides a comprehensive methodology for individuals responsible for defending the cybersecurity of their organization.

Course Overview

  • Course accredited by CertNexus
  • 4 days live virtual sessions with accredited trainers for online live learning + Lifetime access to E-learning
  • Lab access included
  • Certification exam included
  • High-quality E-learning material for self-paced learning
  • E-learning access includes quizzes and practice exams
  • Doubt clearance sessions included
  • Identify
  • Protect
  • Detect
  • Respond
  • Recover

Course Curriculum

Target Audience

The CyberSec First Responder® (CFR) exam is designed for individuals with between 2 and 5 years of experience working in a computing environment as part of a CERT, CSIRT, SOC, Command and control (C2) systems, or as an IT professional on the front line of cybersecurity at their organizations, who desire or are required to protect critical information systems before, during, and after an incident which may be a cybersecurity attack.


For attending the course, no pre-requisites are required. However, for achieving the certificate:

  • No formal prerequisites to register for and schedule an exam. However, it is strongly recommend that you first possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the following:
      • Understand the National Institute of Standard and Technology’s (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework
      • Identify applicable compliance, standards, frameworks, and best practices for privacy and security
      • Understand the cybersecurity threat landscape
      • Assess cybersecurity risk in computing environments within a risk management framework
      • Evaluate an organization’s cybersecurity posture
      • Conduct vulnerability assessment processes and identify common areas of vulnerability
      • Perform analysis of network assets
      • Utilize log sources for continuous monitoring and detection of potential anomalies
      • Analyze attacks and post-attack techniques on computing environments
      • Assess and apply organizational cybersecurity policies and procedures
      • Communicate with other stakeholder groups to coordinate incident response processes
      • Prepare for and execute incident response processes when an incident has occurred
      • Implement recovery planning processes and procedures to restore systems and assets affected by cybersecurity incidents

Certification Examination Details

  • No. of items: 80 
  • Pass mark: 70% or 73% depending on exam form. Forms have been statistically equated
  • Exam duration: 120 minutes (Note: exam time includes 5 minutes for reading and signing the Candidate Agreement and 5 minutes for the Pearson VUE testing system tutorial.)
  • Exam Options: In person at Pearson VUE test centers or online via Pearson OnVUE
  • Item Formats: Multiple Choice/Multiple Response
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Course Content

Objective 1.1: Identify assets (applications, workstations, servers, appliances, operating systems, and others)

  • Identify assets (applications, workstations, servers, appliances, operating systems, and others)
  • Asset identification tools
    • Active
    • Passive
  • Tools
    • Nessus
    • Nmap
    • Network monitoring tools
  • Operating system information
    • macOS
    • Windows
    • Linux/Unix
    • Android
    • iOS
    • Determine which tools to use for each part of the network
    • Network topology and architecture information
    • Data flow
    • Vulnerable ports
    • SPAN ports and TAP devices for live packet capture

Objective 1.2: Identify factors that affect the tasking, collection, processing, exploitation, and dissemination architecture’s form and function.

  • Identify relevant policies and procedures
  • Collect artifacts and evidence based on volatility level
  • Review service level agreements (SLAs)
  • Network scanning
  • Assets and underlying risks
  • Data collection
  • Data analytics and e-discovery
  • Monitor threats and vulnerabilities
    • CVSS
    • CVE
    • CWE
    • CAPEC
  • Threat modeling
  • Identify TTPs

Objective 1.3: Identify and evaluate vulnerabilities and threat actors

  • Vulnerability scanning tools
    • Threat targets
    • Individuals
    • Non-profit associations
    • Corporations
    • Governments
    • Critical Infrastructure
    • Systems
  • Mobile
  • IoT
  • ICS
  • PLC
  • Threat actors
  • Threat motives/reasons
  • Threat intent
  • Attack phases
  • Attack vectors
  • Technique criteria

Objective 1.4 Identify applicable compliance, standards, frameworks, and best practices for privacy.

  • Privacy laws, standards, and regulations
    • GDPR
    • HIPAA
    • COPPA
    • GLBA
    • CAN-SPAM
    • National privacy laws
  • Frameworks
    • NIST Privacy Framework
    • ISO/IEC 27000 series
    • ISO 29100
    • AICPA Generally Accepted Privacy Principles (GAPP)
  • Best practices
    • Federal Trade Commission

Objective 1.5 Identify applicable compliance, standards, frameworks, and best practices for security.

  • Security laws, standards, and regulations
    • ISO/IEC 27000 series
    • ANSI/ISA-62443
    • NIST Special Publication 800 Series
    • Standard of Good Practice from ISF
    • NERC 1300
    • RFC 2196
    • PCI DSS
    • SSAE 18
  • Frameworks
  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework
    • CIS Critical Security Controls
    • COBIT
    • NIST Special Publication 800-61
    • DoD Risk Management Framework (RMF)
    • IT Assurance Framework (ITAF)
  • Best practices
    • OWASP
    • MITRE
    • CAPEC
    • CSA

Objective 1.6: Identify and conduct vulnerability assessment processes.

  • Critical assets and data
  • Establish scope
  • Determine vulnerability assessment frequency
  • Identify common areas of vulnerability
  • Users
  • Internal acceptable use policies
  • Operating systems
  • Applications
    • Networking software
  • Network operations and management
  • Firewall
  • Network security applications
    • Database software
  • Network devices
    • Access points
    • Routers
    • Wireless routers
    • Switches
    • Firewall
    • Modems
    • NAT (Network Address Translation)
  • Network infrastructure
    • Network configurations
    • Network services
  • DSL
  • Wireless protocols
  • IP addressing
  • Configuration files
  • IoT
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Changes to the system
  • Determine scanning criteria
  • IoC information
  • Perform a vulnerability assessment
    • Determine scanning criteria
    • Utilize scanning tools
    • Identify and assess exposures
    • Generate reports
  • Conduct post-assessment tasks
    • Remediate/mitigate vulnerabilities
    • Recovery planning processes and procedures
  • Hardening
  • Patches
  • Exceptions documented
    • Conduct audit/validate action was taken Objective

1.7: Establish relationships between internal teams and external groups like law enforcement agencies and vendors.

  • Formal policies that drive these internal and external relationships and engagements
  • SLAs
  • Communication policies and procedures
  • Points of contact and methods of contact
  • Vendor agreements, NDAs, and vendor assessment questionnaires
  • Privacy rules and laws
  • Understanding of relevant law enforcement agencies

Objective 2.1 Analyze and report system security posture trends.

  • Data analytics
  • Prioritize the risk observations and formulate remediation steps
  • Analyze security system logs, tools, and data
  • Threats and vulnerabilities
  • Intrusion prevention systems and tools
  • Security vulnerability databases
    • CVE
    • CVSS
    • OSVDB
  • Discover vulnerabilities in information systems
  • Create reports and document evidence

Objective 2.2 Apply security policies to meet the system’s cybersecurity objectives and defend against cyber attacks and intrusions.

  • Cybersecurity policies and procedures
    • Acceptable use policy
    • Network access control (NAC)
    • Disaster recovery and business continuity plans
    • Remote work policies
  • Active Directory Group Policy Objects (GPOs)
  • Best practices in hardening techniques
  • Threats and vulnerabilities
  • Security laws, standards, and regulations
  • Risk management principles
  • Attack methods and techniques
    • Footprinting
    • Scanning
    • Enumeration
    • Gaining access
    • Web attacks
    • Password attacks
    • Wireless attacks
    • Social engineering
    • Man-in-the-middle
    • Malware
    • Out of band
  • DoS
    • DDoS
    • Resource exhaustion
    • Forced system outage
    • Packet generators

Objective 2.3 Collaborate across internal and external organizational lines to enhance the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information.

  • Organizational structure
  • Internal teams
  • Personnel roles and responsibilities
  • Communication policies and procedures
  • Knowledge sharing processes
  • Conflict management
  • SLAs
  • Relationships with external stakeholders
    • Law enforcement
    • Vendors

Objective 2.4 Employ approved defense-in-depth principles and practices.

  • Intrusion Prevention or Detection Systems (IDS/IPS)
  • Firewalls
  • Network Segmentation
  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
  • Account Management
    • The Principle of Least Privilege
    • Separation of duties
    • Password policy enforcement
    • Active directory hygiene
  • Patch management
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Objective 2.5 Develop and implement cybersecurity independent audit processes.

  • Identify assets
  • Cybersecurity policies and procedures
  • Data security policies
  • Cybersecurity auditing processes and procedures
  • Audit objectives
  • Network structure
  • Compliance standards
  • Document and communicate results

Objective 2.6 Ensure that plans of action are in place for vulnerabilities identified during risk assessments, audits, and inspections.

  • Review assessments, audits, and inspections
  • Analyze critical issues for action
  • Develop plans of action
  • Specify success criteria
  • Remediation planning
  • Resource implications
  • Monitoring procedures

Objective 2.7 Protect organizational resources through security updates.

  • Cybersecurity policies and procedures
  • Software updates
    • Scope
    • Attributes
    • Vulnerabilities
  • Firmware updates
    • Scope
    • Attributes
    • Vulnerabilities
  • Software patches

Objective 2.8 Protect identity management and access control within the organization, including physical and remote access.

  • Enterprise resources
  • Access control
  • Authentication systems
  • Remote-access monitoring
  • Cybersecurity policies and procedures
  • Identity management
  • Authorization
  • Infrastructure/physical security
  • Physical security controls
  • User credentials

Objective 3.1 Analyze common indicators of potential compromise, anomalies, and patterns.

  • Analyze security system logs, security tools, and data
  • IP networking/ IP resolving
  • DoS attacks/ DDoS attacks
  • Security Vulnerability Databases
  • Intrusion Detection Systems
  • Network encryption
  • SSL decryption
  • SIEM
  • Firewalls
  • DLP
  • IPS
  • IDS
  • Evaluate and interpret metadata
  • Malware
  • Network topology
  • Anomalies
    • False positives
    • Superhuman logins/geo-velocity
    • APT activity
    • Botnets
  • Unauthorized programs in the startup menu
  • Malicious software
    • Presence of attack tools
  • Registry entries
  • Unusual network traffic
    • Bandwidth usage
    • Malicious network communication
  • Off-hours usage
  • New administrator/user accounts
  • Guest account usageUnknown open ports
  • Unknown use of protocols
  • Service disruption
  • Website defacement
  • Unauthorized changes/modifications
    • Suspicious files
    • Patches
  • Recipient of suspicious emails
  • Unauthorized sessions
  • Failed logins
  • Rogue hardware

Objective 3.2 Perform analysis of log files from various sources to identify possible threats to network security.

  • Log collection
    • Agent-based
    • Agentless
    • Syslog
  • Log auditing
    • Source validation
    • Verification of log integrity
    • Evidence collection
  • Log enrichment
    • IP address and hostname resolution
    • Field name consistency
    • Time zones
  • Alerts, reports, and event correlation
    • Threat hunting
    • Long tail analysis
    • Intrusion detection
    • Behavioral monitoring
  • Log retention
    • Industry compliance/regulatory requirements
  • Log aggregator and analytics tools
    • SIEM
  • Linux tools
    • grep
    • cut
    • diff
  • Windows tools
    • Find
    • WMIC
    • Event Viewer
  • Scripting languages
    • Bash
    • PowerShell
  • Data sources
    • Network-based
    • WAP logs
    • WIPS logs
    • Controller logs
    • Packet capture
    • Traffic log
    • Flow data
    • Device state data
    • SDN
    • Host-based
    • Linux syslog
    • Application logs
  • Cloud
    • Audit logs
  • Threat feeds

Objective 3.3 Provide timely detection, identification, and alerting of possible attacks/ intrusions, anomalous activities, and misuse activities and distinguish these incidents and events from benign activities.

  • Asset discovery methods and tools
  • Alerting systems
  • Intrusion Prevention or Detection Systems (IDS/IPS)
  • Firewalls
  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
  • Common indicators of potential compromise, anomalies, and patterns
  • Analysis tools
  • Document and communicate results

Objective 3.4 Take appropriate action to document and escalate incidents that may cause an ongoing and immediate impact on the environment.

  • Communication and documentation policies and processes
  • Security incident reports
    • Description
    • Potential impact
    • Sensitivity of information
    • Logs
  • Escalation processes and procedures
    • Specific technical processes
    • Techniques
    • Checklists
    • Forms
  • Incident response teams
  • Levels of Authority
  • Personnel roles and responsibilities
  • Document and communicate results

Objective 3.5 Determine the extent of threats and recommend courses of action or countermeasures to mitigate risks.

  • Post exploitation tools and tactics
    • Command and control
    • Data exfiltration
    • Pivoting
    • Lateral movement
    • Persistence/maintaining access
    • Keylogging
    • Anti-forensics
    • Covering tracks
  • Prioritization or severity ratings of incidents
  • Communication policies and procedures
  • Levels of Authority
  • Communicate recommended courses of action and countermeasures

Objective 4.1 Execute the incident response process.

  • Incident response plans and processes
  • Communication with internal and external stakeholders
  • Personnel roles and responsibilities
  • Incident reporting
  • Containment Methods ◦ Allowlist/blocklist ◦ IDS/IPS rules configuration ◦ Network segmentation ◦ Web content filtering ◦ Port blocking
  • Containment Tools ◦ Firewall ◦ IDS/IPS ◦ Web proxy ◦ Anti-malware ◦ Endpoint security solutions
  • DLP
  • Windows tools to analyze incidents
    • Registry
    • Network
    • File system
    • Malware
    • Processes
    • Services
    • Volatile memory
    • Active Directory tools
  • Linux-based tools to analyze incidents
    • Network
  • File system
    • Malware
    • Processes
    • Volatile memory
    • Session management

Objective 4.2 Collect and seize documentary or physical evidence and create a forensically sound duplicate that ensures the original evidence is not unintentionally modified to use for data recovery and analysis processes.

  • Evidence collection, preservation, and security ◦ Digital ◦ Physical
  • Chain of custody
  • Forensic investigation
    • Static analysis
    • Dynamic analysis
  • Forensic collection and analysis tools
    • FTK
    • EnCase
    • eDiscovery
    • Forensic Explorer
    • Kali Linux Forensic Mode
    • CAINE
    • Volatility
    • Binalyze AIR
  • Forensically sound duplicates
  • Document and communicate results

Objective 4.3 Correlate incident data and create reports.

  • Logs
  • Data analysis
  • Intrusion Prevention or Detection Systems (IDS/IPS)
  • Forensics analysis
  • Correlation analysis
  • Event correlation tools and techniques
  • Root cause analysis
  • Alerting systems
  • Incident reports
  • Document and communicate results

Objective 4.4 Implement system security measures in accordance with established procedures.

  • Escalation procedures
    • Chain of command
  • Organizational systems and processes
    • Policies
    • Procedures
  • Incident response plan
    • Security configuration controls
    • Baseline configurations
    • Hardening documentation
  • Document measures implemented

Objective 4.5 Determine tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of intrusion sets.

  • Threat actors
    • Patterns of activity
    • Methods
  • Tactics
    • Early stages of the campaign
    • Key facts of the infrastructure
    • Artifacts and tools used
  • Techniques
    • Technological
    • Non-technological
  • Procedures

Objective 4.6 Interface with internal teams and external organizations to ensure appropriate and accurate dissemination of incident information.

  • Communication policies and procedures
  • Internal communication methods
    • Secure channels
    • Out-of-band communications
  • External communication guidelines
    • Local law enforcement
    • Stockholders
    • Breach victims
    • Media
    • Other CERTs/CSIRTs
    • Vendors

Objective 5.1 Implement recovery planning processes and procedures to restore systems and assets affected by cybersecurity incidents.

  • Post-incident
    • Root cause analysis
    • After Action Report (AAR)
    • Lessons learned
    • Reporting and documentation
  • Analyze incident reports
  • Execute recovery planning processes and procedures
  • Document and communicate results

Objective 5.2 Implement specific cybersecurity countermeasures for systems and applications.

  • Security requirements of systems
  • System interoperability and integration
  • Prevention & mitigation
    • Actions
    • Processes
    • Tools and technologies
    • Devices
    • Systems
  • Safeguards
    • Security features
    • Management constraints
    • Personnel security
    • Physical structures, areas, and devices

Objective 5.3 Review forensic images and other data sources for recovery of potentially relevant information.

  • Memory forensics analysis/tools
    • Volatility
  • Data sources and disk images
  • Analysis of digital evidence
  • Hardware and software tools
  • File copying techniques
    • Logical backup
    • Bit stream imaging
  • File modification, access, and creation times
  • Forensic recordkeeping
    • Automated audit trails
    • Chain of custody
  • Forensic investigation
  • Forensic collection and analysis tools

Objective 5.4 Provide advice and input for disaster recovery, contingency, and continuity of operations plans.

  • Recovery planning processes
  • Contingency planning
  • Systems and assets
  • Lessons learned
  • Review of existing strategies
  • Implement improvements
  • Document and communicate reports, lessons learned, and advice for recovery, contingency, and continuity of operations plans

Learning Options

Self-Paced Learning
  • Lifetime access to high-quality self-paced eLearning content curated by industry experts
  • 40 Hours of Self-Paced Videos, Quizzes and Practice Exams
  • Certification exam voucher included
  • 24x7 learner assistance and support
Online Live Sessions
  • Lifetime access to high-quality self-paced eLearning content curated by industry experts
  • Four Days of Online Live Public Training Sessions
  • Certification exam voucher included
  • 24x7 learner assistance and support
Group Sessions
  • Lifetime access to high-quality self-paced eLearning content curated by industry experts
  • Four Days of Online Live OR Classroom Private Training Sessions
  • Certification exam voucher included
  • 24x7 learner assistance and support

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