DoD DCWF - Cyber Defense Incident Responder

MCSI Certification

MCDIR - Certified Cyber Defense Incident Responder

The Cyber Defense Incident Responder course is designed to train participants with the skills needed to detect and manage cybersecurity incidents, offering deep insights into incident response principles, strategies, and best practices. Emphasizing a proactive defense approach, the course provides hands-on learning experiences that reveal the complexities of the cyber threat environment, underlining the vital role of incident responders in safeguarding organizational security. This comprehensive training blends theoretical knowledge with practical exercises, preparing individuals for real-world challenges in a dynamic educational setting.

The training covers various activities like cyber defense trend analysis, monitoring, incident triage, threat detection, and analysis, using state-of-the-art tools and techniques

A significant portion of the curriculum is dedicated to hands-on incident handling, with participants undertaking simulated exercises to enhance their digital forensics and malware analysis skills.

The extensive training prepares participants to confidently assume the role of a Cyber Defense Incident Responder. They will leave the course with a robust understanding of how to effectively manage and mitigate cyber incidents, endowed with the practical experience and strategic insight needed to lead and execute incident response initiatives. This culminating experience ensures readiness to confront and navigate the cyber threats facing modern organizations.

Intermediate Level MCSI Certification Advanced
ic-certificate Certification
ic-clock 600+ hours
ic-money $1295
No Expiry, No Renewals

Course Overview

The Cyber Defense Incident Responder course is designed to train participants with the skills needed to detect and manage cybersecurity incidents, offering deep insights into incident response principles, strategies, and best practices.

At the core of the course is the emphasis on fundamental concepts and methodologies, including computer networking, protocols, network security, incident response, and disaster recovery continuity plans. Participants will gain a broad understanding of these areas, laying a solid foundation for more advanced topics. Participants will develop proficiency in understanding the network environment, equipping learners with the knowledge of intrusion detection methodologies, in-order to detect intrusions at a host and network level.

As the course progresses, participants will delve into advanced techniques such as processing memory dumps and analyzing network traffic captures. The curriculum also includes basic malware analysis to aid in determining the extent of system compromises. Each of these skills builds on the last, forming a comprehensive understanding of the tools and methodologies used in modern forensics.

Participants will hone their skills in identifying vulnerabilities, with a focused approach on understanding fundamental security settings and recognizing security misconfigurations. This emphasis on foundational security principles and configuration management is crucial for strengthening their ability to prevent and respond to security incidents effectively.

Upon completion of the MCDIR Certified Cyber Defense Incident Responder course, participants will be equipped with a diverse skill set enabling them to:

  • Maintain comprehensive network device inventory for monitoring and control.
  • Implement centralized log management systems for log analysis and storage.
  • Configure security tools for automatic detection of suspicious behaviour.
  • Utilize signature-based detection systems effectively to respond to known threats.
  • Stay updated on cyber threat intelligence to counter emerging threats.
  • Design and execute custom threat hunts tailored to organizational environments.
  • Perform detailed network traffic analysis to identify security breaches and deviations from normal patterns.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities You Will Acquire

MCSI is one of the most respected and trusted names in cyber security education and training. Our certifications teach critical skills, knowledge and abilities needed to advance a career in cyber security. Our courses are comprehensive and up-to-date, and our instructors are experienced professionals who are dedicated to helping students learn. MCSI provides the real-world skills and knowledge you need to protect any organization from cyber threats.

  • Lab Setup

    Lab setup is crucial for cyber defense incident responders because it provides a controlled environment to simulate and practice various attack scenarios and response strategies. It allows responders to test security tools, develop proficiency in incident handling, and refine their skills without risking real-world systems or data.

    ELK Stack

    The ELK Stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) is essential for cyber defense incident responders to perform centralized log management, analyze network data, and create visual dashboards for monitoring and detecting security incidents.


    Pandas is a Python library used for data manipulation and analysis, beneficial for incident responders to process and analyze large datasets efficiently, aiding in identifying patterns and anomalies indicative of security threats.


    Yara is a tool used for malware classification and detection, enabling incident responders to create custom rules for identifying specific types of malware and conducting threat hunting activities.


    OpenVAS (Open Vulnerability Assessment System) is critical for incident responders to perform vulnerability scans and assessments, identifying weaknesses in systems and networks that could be exploited by attackers.

  • Incident Response

    Incident response is crucial for cyber defense incident responders because it enables them to promptly detect, contain, and mitigate security incidents to minimize damage and restore normal operations swiftly. Effective incident response practices ensure that organizations can effectively manage and recover from cyber threats, reducing the impact of security breaches on critical systems and data.

    Incident Management Process

    The Incident Management Process involves structured approaches to identify, respond to, and resolve cybersecurity incidents promptly and effectively, essential for maintaining organizational security.

    Incident Response Teams

    Incident Response Teams are dedicated groups trained to manage and coordinate responses to cyber incidents, crucial for effective incident handling and mitigation.

    Creating a RFI

    Creating a Request for Information (RFI) helps in gathering specific details needed to investigate incidents thoroughly, supporting incident response efforts.

    Setting up Honeypots

    Setting up Honeypots aids in detecting and diverting potential threats away from critical systems, providing valuable insights into attacker behavior and tactics.

    Monitor Network Using Suricata

    Monitoring networks with Suricata helps in real-time detection of suspicious activities and potential security breaches, enhancing incident response capabilities.

    Capture Logs from Windows Machines Using Graylog

    Capturing logs from Windows machines using Graylog facilitates centralized log management, enabling comprehensive analysis and correlation of security events for incident response.

    Deploying GRR Rapid Response

    Deploying GRR Rapid Response aids in remote incident investigation and forensic data collection across multiple endpoints, streamlining incident response processes.

    Acquiring Artifacts Through GRR Rapid Response

    Acquiring artifacts through GRR Rapid Response enables quick retrieval and analysis of forensic evidence, supporting incident response investigations effectively.

    Hunt for Threats and Artifacts Using Velociraptor

    Hunting for threats and artifacts using Velociraptor enhances proactive incident response, enabling rapid detection and containment of cyber threats.

    Investigating Numerous Common Incidents

    Investigating numerous common incidents develops proficiency in incident response handling, preparing responders to address a wide range of cybersecurity threats effectively.

    Creating Incident Response Playbook

    Creating an Incident Response Playbook outlines predefined steps and procedures to guide effective incident response actions, ensuring consistency and efficiency in response efforts.

    Utilizing ELK to Detect Malicious Behavior

    Utilizing ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) aids in detecting and analyzing malicious behavior within logs and data, strengthening incident detection and response capabilities.

    Creating Custom Kibana Dashboard

    Creating custom Kibana dashboards provides tailored visualizations for monitoring and analyzing security incidents, enhancing situational awareness and response readiness.

  • Malware Analysis

    Malware analysis involves examining malicious software to understand its functionality, behavior, and impact on systems. It is important for cybersecurity professionals to conduct malware analysis to identify and mitigate potential threats, protect systems from infection, and improve incident response capabilities.

    Understanding malware allows for proactive measures such as developing effective detection signatures, updating security defenses, and devising appropriate mitigation strategies to defend against evolving threats.

    Analyzing and Extracting Malicious Shortcut Files

    This involves examining shortcut files for hidden malware payloads, which is crucial for identifying and neutralizing threats targeting system vulnerabilities.

    Analyzing and Extracting Malicious PDF Files

    Analyzing malicious PDF files helps identify embedded malware and potential exploit techniques, enabling effective mitigation and response strategies.

    Analyzing and Extracting Malicious Word Files

    Examining malicious Word files allows for the detection of embedded malware or macros, essential for understanding attack vectors and developing effective countermeasures.

    Decompiling Java, AutoIt, MSI Files

    Decompiling these types of files aids in understanding their inner workings and identifying malicious behaviors, which is essential for malware analysis and threat intelligence.

    Using Resource Hacker to Decompose Malware

    Resource Hacker is a tool used to dissect Windows executable files, which can reveal hidden or obfuscated malicious code, aiding in malware analysis.

    Monitoring Malware with Process Monitor

    This involves using Process Monitor to observe malware behavior on systems, providing insights into its activities and helping to detect and respond to threats.

    Using API Monitor on Malware

    API monitoring helps analyze how malware interacts with system functions and external resources, enabling detection and mitigation of malicious activities.

    Reverse Engineering Malicious Macros

    This process involves dissecting malicious macros to understand their functionality and potential impact, which is crucial for identifying and mitigating macro-based attacks.

  • Windows Forensics

    Windows forensics is crucial for investigating security incidents and identifying malicious activities on Windows-based systems. It enables analysts to collect and analyze digital evidence from Windows devices, aiding in incident response, threat detection, and mitigation efforts.

    Capturing an Image from USB Drives

    Capturing an image from USB drives is important for cyber defense forensic analysts as it allows them to collect and preserve data from removable storage devices for forensic analysis, aiding in investigations and incident response.

    Recovering Concealed Data

    Recovering concealed data is essential in forensic investigations as it helps analysts uncover hidden information and artifacts that may be critical for understanding the scope and impact of security incidents.

    Analyzing Windows Prefetch Files

    Analyzing Windows Prefetch files is important for cyber defense forensic analysts to understand program execution patterns and identify suspicious or unauthorized activity on Windows systems.

    Analyzing Windows Hibernation Files

    Analyzing Windows hibernation files is critical for extracting memory snapshots and volatile data, providing insights into system activities and potentially uncovering evidence of malicious behavior.

    Recovering Windows Shadow Copies

    Recovering Windows shadow copies is important for restoring previous versions of files and recovering data that may have been deleted or modified, aiding in digital forensics investigations.

    Using AmCacheParser

    Using AmCacheParser is essential for cyber defense forensic analysts to parse and analyze application compatibility cache data, helping to identify artifacts related to executed programs and user activity on Windows systems.

    Analyzing SCRUM Dumps on Windows

    Analyzing SCRUM dumps on Windows is important for examining memory dumps and extracting valuable information about processes, network connections, and file system activities, aiding in incident response and malware analysis.

  • Memory Forensics

    Memory forensics is crucial for cyber defense forensic analysts because it enables the extraction of volatile data from active systems, providing insights into running processes, network connections, and system artifacts that may not be available through traditional disk-based forensics.

    Analyzing memory dumps can reveal important evidence of malware execution, persistence mechanisms, and attacker activities, aiding in incident response and threat mitigation efforts.

    Volatility Framework

    The Volatility Framework is a powerful tool used for memory forensics, allowing cyber defense forensic analysts to extract and analyze critical data from compromised machines' RAM. It aids in identifying malware, analyzing running processes, and uncovering artifacts crucial for incident response and threat hunting.

    Perform forensic analysis on compromised machines

    Performing forensic analysis on compromised machines involves extracting and examining evidence from systems that have been subject to security breaches. This process is essential for identifying the extent of compromise, understanding attacker tactics, and strengthening future defenses.

    Dump the RAM of a Windows machine

    Dumping the RAM of a Windows machine allows analysts to capture the volatile memory state, providing insights into active processes, network connections, and system artifacts. This data is critical for detecting malware, understanding attacker activities, and conducting thorough incident response investigations.

    Dumping the RAM of a Linux machine

    Dumping the RAM of a Linux machine enables analysts to capture volatile data from Linux systems, aiding in memory forensics investigations. This process helps identify malicious activities, uncover rootkits, and gather critical evidence for forensic analysis.

    Extracting malware from dumps

    Extracting malware from memory dumps allows analysts to isolate and analyze malicious code that resides in system memory. This activity is essential for understanding malware behavior, identifying indicators of compromise (IOCs), and strengthening defenses against similar threats.

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) & Contingencies

    Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) & Contingencies are crucial for cyber defense incident responders because they provide clear guidelines and protocols for responding to security incidents effectively. SOPs ensure consistent actions are taken, reducing response time and minimizing the impact of incidents on organizational operations.

    Contingencies allow responders to have predefined plans in place, enabling them to adapt quickly to unexpected situations and ensure continuity of operations during cyber crises.

    Creating a SOP

    Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are essential for cyber defense incident responders as they provide detailed instructions for handling security incidents consistently and effectively, ensuring a coordinated response and minimizing disruptions to operations.

    Automating the retrieval of information on recent cyber adversary activities

    Automating the retrieval of latest information on adversaries' tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) is important for cyber defense incident responders to stay updated with evolving threats, enabling proactive defense measures and timely responses to potential security incidents.

    Create an IOC Playbook

    An IOC (Indicators of Compromise) playbook is essential for cyber defense incident responders to systematically document and respond to specific indicators of compromise, streamlining incident response efforts and improving overall security posture.

DoD Cyber Workforce Framework KSATs

This course teaches the specific Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Tasks (KSATs) aligned with the DoD Cyber Workforce Framework (DCWF) as outlined in DoD 8140. By focusing on these critical competencies, the course ensures that you develop the essential capabilities required for various cybersecurity roles within the Department of Defense. This alignment not only guarantees that the training is relevant and comprehensive but also that it prepares you to meet the specific operational needs and standards of the DoD cyber workforce.

  • knowledge
    ID Description
    22 Knowledge of computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies.
    37 Knowledge of disaster recovery continuity of operations plans.
    50 Knowledge of how network services and protocols interact to provide network communications.
    60 Knowledge of incident categories, incident responses, and timelines for responses.
    61 Knowledge of incident response and handling methodologies.
    66 Knowledge of intrusion detection methodologies and techniques for detecting host and network-based intrusions via intrusion detection technologies.
    81A Knowledge of network protocols such as TCP/IP, Dynamic Host Configuration, Domain Name System (DNS), and directory services.
    105 Knowledge of system and application security threats and vulnerabilities (e.g., buffer overflow, mobile code, cross-site scripting, Procedural Language/Structured Query Language [PL/SQL] and injections, race conditions, covert channel, replay, return-oriented attacks, malicious code).
    108 Knowledge of risk management processes (e.g., methods for assessing and mitigating risk).
    150 Knowledge of what constitutes a network attack and the relationship to both threats and vulnerabilities.
    984 Knowledge of cyber defense policies, procedures, and regulations.
    991 Knowledge of different classes of attacks (e.g., passive, active, insider, close-in, distribution).
    1029A Knowledge of malware analysis concepts and methodologies.
    1033 Knowledge of basic system administration, network, and operating system hardening techniques.
    1069 Knowledge of general attack stages (e.g., foot printing and scanning, enumeration, gaining access, escalation or privileges, maintaining access, network exploitation, covering tracks).
    1072 Knowledge of network security architecture concepts including topology, protocols, components, and principles (e.g., application of defense-in-depth).
    1157 Knowledge of national and international laws, regulations, policies, and ethics as they relate to cybersecurity.
    1158 Knowledge of cybersecurity principles.
    1159 Knowledge of cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
    3431 Knowledge of OSI model and underlying network protocols (e.g., TCP/IP).
    6900 Knowledge of specific operational impacts of cybersecurity lapses.
    29 Knowledge of data backup, types of backups (e.g., full, incremental), and recovery concepts and tools.
    49 Knowledge of host/network access control mechanisms (e.g., access control list).
    87 Knowledge of network traffic analysis methods.
    93 Knowledge of packet-level analysis.
    992C Knowledge of threat environments (e.g., first generation threat actors, threat activities).
    1141A Knowledge of an organization’s information classification program and procedures for information compromise.
    3362A Knowledge of key factors of the operational environment and related threats and vulnerabilities.
    3561 Knowledge of the common networking and routing protocols(e.g. TCP/IP), services (e.g., web, mail, DNS), and how they interact to provide network communications.
    6935 Knowledge of cloud computing service models Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
    6938 Knowledge of cloud computing deployment models in private, public, and hybrid environment and the difference between on-premises and off-premises environments.
    6210 Knowledge of cloud service models and possible limitations for an incident response.
    6210 Knowledge of cloud service models and possible limitations for an incident response.
  • skills
    ID Description
    153 Skill of identifying, capturing, containing, and reporting malware.
    217 Skill in preserving evidence integrity according to standard operating procedures or national standards.
    893 Skill in securing network communications.
    895 Skill in recognizing and categorizing types of vulnerabilities and associated attacks.
    896 Skill in protecting a network against malware.
    897 Skill in performing damage assessments.
    923A Skill in using security event correlation tools.
  • tasks
    ID Description
    470 Coordinate and provide expert technical support to enterprise-wide cyber defense technicians to resolve cyber defense incidents.
    716A Monitor external data sources (e.g., cyber defense vendor sites, Computer Emergency Response Teams, Security Focus) to maintain currency of cyber defense threat condition and determine which security issues may have an impact on the enterprise.
    741A Coordinate incident response functions.
    745 Perform cyber defense trend analysis and reporting.
    755 Perform initial, forensically sound collection of images and inspect to discern possible mitigation/remediation on enterprise systems.
    823 Receive and analyze network alerts from various sources within the enterprise and determine possible causes of such alerts.
    882 Write and publish cyber defense techniques, guidance, and reports on incident findings to appropriate constituencies.
    1030 Collect intrusion artifacts (e.g., source code, malware, trojans) and use discovered data to enable mitigation of potential cyber defense incidents within the enterprise.
    5670 Write and publish after action reviews.
    478 Correlate incident data to identify specific vulnerabilities and make recommendations that enable expeditious remediation.
    738 Perform analysis of log files from a variety of sources (e.g., individual host logs, network traffic logs, firewall logs, and intrusion detection system [IDS] logs) to identify possible threats to network security.
    743 Perform cyber defense incident triage, to include determining scope, urgency, and potential impact; identifying the specific vulnerability; and making recommendations that enable expeditious remediation.
    762 Perform real-time cyber defense incident handling (e.g., forensic collections, intrusion correlation and tracking, threat analysis, and direct system remediation) tasks to support deployable Incident Response Teams (IRTs).
    861 Track and document cyber defense incidents from initial detection through final resolution.
    961 Employ approved defense-in-depth principles and practices (e.g., defense-in-multiple places, layered defenses, security robustness).
    1031 Serve as technical expert and liaison to law enforcement personnel and explain incident details as required.
    2179 Coordinate with intelligence analysts to correlate threat assessment data.

Career Outcomes

Our Cyber Defense Incident Responder course equips you with the skills to effectively manage and mitigate cyber incidents. Through hands-on training, you'll learn to detect, analyze, and respond to security threats. Gain expertise in using advanced tools and techniques to handle incidents, perform forensic analysis, and implement remediation strategies, making you a critical asset in any cybersecurity team.

Certification Detail

MCSI certifications are highly respected and sought-after credentials in the industry. Earning an MCSI certification is a testament to your knowledge and skillset, and demonstrates your commitment to excellence. The content is cutting-edge, uniquely-designed, and hands-on. Our exercises teach in-demand skills that are immediately applicable in the field.

The certifications are valid indefinitely and do not require any renewal fees. The training is accessible without any time limits.


Training Modules

This course provides you with multiple training modules, each of which is designed to teach you practical skills that can help you solve important cyber problems. Each module offers exercises that will help you build your skills and capabilities.

  • MCDIR-001: Lab Setup - 9 exercises
  • MCDIR-100: Key Incident Management Concepts - 14 exercises
  • MCDIR-101: Network Situational Awareness - 5 exercises
  • MCDIR-102: Internal Logs Sources - 5 exercises
  • MCDIR-103: Incident Response with GRR Rapid Response - 6 exercises
  • MCDIR-104: Incident Response with Velociraptor - 10 exercises
  • MCDIR-105: Detecting Intrusions with the ELK Stack - 14 exercises
  • MCDIR-106: Incident Response Challenges - 9 exercises
  • MCDIR-107: Network Forensics Challenges - 6 exercises
  • MCDIR-108: Incident Response Playbooks - 5 exercises
  • MCDIR-201: Disk and Filesystem Forensics - 3 exercises
  • MCDIR-202: Disk and File System Forensics - 3 exercises
  • MCDIR-203: Executable Analysis - 8 exercises
  • MCDIR-204: Windows Forensics - 8 exercises
  • MCDIR-205: Windows 10 Forensics - 2 exercises
  • MCDIR-206: Memory Forensics - 9 exercises
  • MCDIR-207: Memory Forensics Challenges - 3 exercises
  • MCDIR-301: Malware Analysis - 11 exercises
  • MCDIR-401: Developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) - 2 exercises
  • MCDIR-402: Preparing for Contingencies - 7 exercises


Cyber professionals must be ready for everything. The typical security training strategy, which focuses on individual skills and tools, is insufficient. You must be able to operate as part of a team, see the big picture, and respond swiftly and effectively to unforeseen circumstances. That's why, as part of our training, we use replays of whole cyber missions. Our scenarios help you prepare for the demands of the job and give you confidence in your ability to work professionally.

  • MCDIR-SC-01: Business Email Compromise Investigation - 10 exercises
  • MCDIR-SC-02: Ransomware Investigation - 7 exercises
  • MCDIR-SC-03: Android Mobile Forensics Investigation - 10 exercises

Enroll now with lifetime access for $1295


MCSI Industry Certifications are important for you to earn because they signify that you have the skills required to work in a cybersecurity. Certificates of Completion are also important to earn because they signify that you have completed an exercise. Earning Certificates of Completion and Industry Certifications demonstrates that you are willing to put in the extra work to be successful.




Obtain CPE points by solving exercises


Achieve multiple certifications


Receive help from instructors online

This certification is aligned with the DoD Cyber Workforce Framework (DoD 8140), ensuring you receive training that meets the standards and competencies required for cybersecurity roles within the Department of Defense. This alignment guarantees that you gain relevant, up-to-date skills and knowledge tailored to the specific needs of the DoD cyber workforce, effectively preparing you to support and secure defense operations.

Certificate Level Curriculum Completion Requirement Scenarios Completion Requirement
MCSI Cyber Defense Incident Responder (Basic) Level 1 50% 0%
MCSI Cyber Defense Incident Responder (Intermediate) Level 2 75% 50%
MCSI Cyber Defense Incident Responder (Advanced) Level 3 95% 100%

Sample Exercises

Below are three (3) exercises from the 100+ exercises available in MCDFA - Certified Cyber Defence Forensics Analyst:

Write An ELK Filter To Detect User Logons


Hunt For Threats In Windows Event Logs Using Velociraptor


Utilize GRR Rapid Response To Acquire Artifacts From A Linux Host On Your Network


Our Instructors

Student exercises are reviewed and graded by multiple instructors. This one-of-a-kind approach allows you to get highly personalized input from a number of successful professionals.

MCSI's teachers bring real-world experience and knowledge to the classroom, ensuring that students have the skills they need to excel in the field of information security. Due to their extensive experience in penetration testing, vulnerability assessment, reverse engineering, incident response, digital forensics, and exploit development, students will understand the most up-to-date defensive and offensive cybersecurity strategies and procedures.

Our instructors are passionate about information security and are always looking to further their own knowledge. Students who attend an MCSI course can be confident that they are learning from some of the best in the business. They can adapt their teaching approaches to match the demands of any student, regardless of their degree of expertise.

The MCSI team strives to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date cybersecurity training available. Whether you are a seasoned security professional or new to the field, MCSI has a course that will meet your needs.

Receive personalized feedback from cybersecurity experts:

  • Overcome challenges and hurdles preventing you from advancing your skills
  • Receive guidance on how to focus your training efforts and avoid wasting time
  • Learn how to meet the industry's quality standards and produce high-quality work
  • When you're stuck, go to a support forum or ask inquiries to the instructors right on the platform

Help and Support

24/7 Discord Community

If you're looking for additional support during your studies, consider joining our Discord server. Our community of fellow students and instructors is always available to provide help and answer any questions you may have.

Personalized Support

Your submissions will be reviewed by MCSI instructors, who will provide you with personalized feedback. This input is critical since it can assist you in identifying the areas where you need to enhance your skills. The instructor's feedback will also tell you how well you did an exercise and what you can do to improve your performance even further.

Click here to see an example of personalized feedback.

Our personalized support will take your skills to the next level. Read what a student says about it:

Quick Questions

If you have any questions or need clarification on any of the exercises, MCSI offers a Quick Questions section on each exercise where you can ask for help. This is a great resource to use if you need assistance. This feature is only available for paid courses.

Actively Maintained Course

This course is actively maintained to ensure that it is current and error-free. We want to ensure that you have the best possible experience while taking this course, which includes having access to accurate and current information. This course is also tested for flaws on a regular basis, so you can be sure you're getting a high-quality product.

This course is constantly updated with the support of trustworthy industry peers to ensure that students are acquiring the most up-to-date information and skills. This dedication to staying ahead of the curve is what distinguishes this course as one of the greatest in the market.


Training Laptop Requirement

This course can be completed on a standard training laptop. To ensure you have the necessary hardware to complete the course, your machine should meet the following specifications:

  • 64-bit Intel i5/i7 2.0+ GHz processor or equivalent
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Ability to run at least (1) virtual machine using Virtual Box, or an equivalent virtualization software
  • Windows 10 or later, macOS 10 or later, or Linux
  • Local administrator privileges
Do you support older operating systems?

Yes. Many of the exercises can be completed on older OS versions. A few of our students are successfully using older equipment to learn cyber security.

Proficiency in the English language

You must have the ability to comfortably read and understand IT documentation written in English. Ideally, they have an IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6 (or equivalent).

Note: You can register for this course without having undertaken an English test.

Lab Environment

This course teaches you how to setup and configure your own cybersecurity lab.

There are numerous advantages to creating your own cybersecurity lab rather than paying for one. The cost savings are perhaps the most evident benefit. When compared to the expense of licensing a pre-built lab, creating your own lab can save you thousands of dollars. You also have the option of customizing the lab environment to meet your specific requirements. You can, for example, select the hardware and software that will be used in your lab.

Another advantage of setting up your own cybersecurity lab is that it allows you to learn new skills. Building a lab from the ground up necessitates knowledge of networking, system administration, and other technical subjects. This experience is invaluable in your career as a cybersecurity professional.

We frequently see students who can complete a task in a pre-built lab but cannot complete the same task at work. This is because these labs are meant to lessen work complexity, thereby creating an illusion of personal capabilities. It's also worth noting that you'll be expected to set up your own lab to test tools and techniques in the workplace. Employers may give you the resources to set up virtual computers and networks, but it will be up to you to manage the lab environment and maintain your tools.

Finally, you should know that pre-built labs are not commonly licensed by top cybersecurity professionals. They've realized that setting up a lab is simple, efficient, adaptable, cost-effective, and that it sparks creativity. It also nullifies risk of performing unauthorized actions against systems provisioned by a third-party.

Aptitude Test (Optional)

This is an advanced course. It includes exercises for novices but assumes that they have competent IT skills and a strong understanding of cybersecurity concepts.

Aptitude Test:

If you're not sure if you'll be able to fully enjoy this course, then contact us via email to organize a free aptitude test. This test will determine whether you meet the course's basic baseline criteria. If you've never studied with us before, it will also introduce you to the MCSI Method™.

Why MCSI's Cyber Defense Incident Responder Certification is World Class

why MCSI

Comprehensive Incident Response Training

The MCDIR certification equips participants with rigorous training in incident detection, response strategies, and cyber defense techniques, preparing them for real-world cybersecurity challenges.

why MCSI

Specialized Focus on Incident Analysis

MCDIR-certified responders gain in-depth knowledge of incident triage, digital forensics, and network traffic analysis, enabling them to conduct thorough investigations into cyber incidents.

why MCSI

Proficiency in Incident Handling and Automation

The MCDIR certification emphasizes incident handling skills and automation techniques to streamline response processes, enhancing efficiency in incident response operations.

Enrollment and Fees


Terms and Conditions

  • No discounts
  • No refunds
  • No transfers
  • No renewal fees
  • No hidden fees
  • No time limits
  • Exercises must be completed on MCSI's Online Learning Platform
  • You'll also be charged GST if you live in Australia

Cooling-Off Policy

Received a full refund if you changed your mind about a purchase within 24 hours. No questions asked. Read the full details here.

Don't Buy This Course

Don't buy this course if you think learning cyber security is simple, that it will only take a few hours, that remembering a few concepts from videos and books would be enough, or, that you should be provided with walkthroughs and solutions to practical problems instead of thinking critically for yourself.

Our competitors are misleading you by claiming that their video courses and open-book theoretical certificates will teach you everything you need to know about cyber security. We recommend that you stay away from our courses until you've realized that cybersecurity requires hundreds of hours of training against difficult challenges under the watchful eye of experts encouraging you to improve your weaknesses. Only then will you understand the value of this course and the benefits that the MCSI Method™ can bring to your career. We only want satisfied customers.

When purchasing a course, you acknowledge that you understand and agree with our 100% practical MCSI Method™: no solutions, no walkthroughs, and you're expected to use critical thinking and research to solve the exercises. If you're not sure how this work, try our free version before buying.

How does MCSI Compare?

If you are looking for a certification that will give you an edge in the job market, look no further than MCSI certifications. Thanks to our innovative approach, cybersecurity training is more affordable and effective than traditional methods.

Our pricing is more affordable than our competitors because we have reinvented how cyber training is done online. Our innovative Online Learning Platform is highly effective at teaching cyber security. The platform provides a more engaging and interactive learning experience than traditional methods, which helps students learn and retain skills better. Try the free version and see for yourself.

Enroll now with lifetime access for $1295

Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom's Taxonomy is a system for categorizing distinct stages of intellectual growth. It is used in education to assist students comprehend and learn material more effectively. MCSI teaches students how to apply, analyze, evaluate, and create at the highest levels of the taxonomy. The majority of our competitors are simply concerned with getting you to remember concepts.

The intellectual developments outlined in Bloom's Taxonomy are directly tied to your capacity to advance in your cyber security career. Employers look for people who can solve challenges that are worth paying for. With us, you'll learn practical skills that are in demand and applicable to a wide range of cyber occupations.

Industry Recognized Skills

MCSI credentials are well-respected around the world, and organisations searching for people with real cyber security abilities seek them out. Obtaining an MCSI certification verifies your understanding of critical cyber security topics as well as your ability to provide real-world results.

The ability of MCSI's training programme to give students with real-world, hands-on experience is unrivalled. Students must conduct their own research and develop their own answers in order to complete our practical exercises, which are meant to give them the skills they need to be successful in the field.

With MCSI, you will build a comprehensive cybersecurity portfolio of your skills as you complete exercises. This portfolio is a powerful tool for displaying your cybersecurity knowledge and abilities. A portfolio, as opposed to typical resumes and paper-based credentials, presents a more thorough summary of your skills and accomplishments.

Students Feedback

Here's what students say about the MCSI Method™ and our Online Learning Platform:

Student Testimonials

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the MCSI Method™?

Common Questions

  • Are solutions included in certifications and bundles?
    • No. Our method of teaching cyber security consists of challenging you with real-world problem statements that you're expected to research and solve by doing your own research. This is how you'll be expected to work in the field. When you fail an exercise, we provide you with constructive feedback to improve and try again.
  • Do bundles, training content, or certificates ever expire? Am I expected to buy again in the future?
    • Upon purchase, bundles and certificates are permanently unlocked with no recurring or ongoing fees.
  • Do I need to buy the training and the certification separately?
    • No. The price provided covers both. You only pay once.
  • Do you offer any special offers and discounts?
    • We understand that many of our customers may be looking for discounts, and we would love to be able to offer them. However, we do not provide discounts because we believe that our prices are fair and reasonable. We work hard to keep our prices low, and we feel that discounts would be unfair to our other customers. We hope you understand.
  • If I can't solve the exercise where do I go for help?
  • Who reviews and marks exercises?
    • Trained cyber security instructors that work for Mossé Cyber Security Institute.
    • MCSI instructors are highly qualified and experienced professionals who are able to teach a variety of topics related to information security. They have the ability to tailor their teaching methods to meet the needs of each student, regardless of their experience level. In addition, they are always up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in information security, which enables them to provide students with the most relevant and current information.
  • We can't pay via credit card. Can you raise an invoice for wire payment instead?
    • Yes. Send us the list of bundles and certifications you want to purchase at [email protected]
  • Can I access a trial/demo the certification programmes prior to enrolling?
    • We provide a free curriculum with 100+ hours practical exercises you can try.
    • The Free Curriculum teaches Security Tools, Penetration Testing, Red Teaming, Threat Hunting, Cyber Defence, GRC and Windows Internals.
    • Try the Free Curriculum
  • Do you provide Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits?
    • Yes. Every single exercise offers CPE credits. The number of credits earned depends on the difficulty of the exercise completed. Below are the CPE Credits achieve for an exercise in each difficulty:
    • Novice exercises = 1 CPE credits
    • Advanced Beginner exercises = 2 CPE credits
    • Competent exercises = 5 CPE credits
  • Do I need to complete an exam to receive MCSI Certification?
    • No. MCSI Certifications are completed by solving practical cybersecurity exercises.
  • Do I need to purchase cybersecurity tools or subscriptions?
    • No. Only free or trial versions are used in our exercises. You do not require making any purchases.

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