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Federal CIO: More than 10,000 Openings for Cyber Pros in the Federal Government

Federal CIO Tony Scott

Federal CIO Tony Scott // Susan Walsh/AP

After a 30-day, governmentwide "sprint" this summer to shore up federal agencies' cybersecurity posture, the federal chief information officer is turning to broader challenges, such as recruiting technology talent, he said on Tuesday. 

During a keynote at a FedScoop conference in Washington, D.C., Tony Scott outlined his IT priorities for the next year, which included attempting to fill more than 10,000 estimated openings for cyber professionals in the federal government, and encouraging agencies to share technology platforms, instead of individualizing them. 

In his first year in office -- he was appointed in late February -- Scott has already overseen the response to the Office of Personnel Management hack, one of the largest government cyberintrusions ever. His cyber sprint initiative required agencies to implement two-factor authentication, and use Personal Identity Verification cards for employees accessing agency networks. 

The sprint, Scott said, was just "a warm-up" for a broader overhaul of federal IT. 

Federal agencies must consider sharing services -- today, they often have separate email systems and networks, he said. "It's not to say there should be one system for the federal government, but I don't think we need hundreds and hundreds of individual," customized applications for each agency or federal component, he said.

Scott said he's also working on specific proposals, including financial grants and "bartering with the private sector," on efforts designed to attract cybersecurity professionals to the federal government. 

"We just don't have available to use the number of cyber resources that are required to do a really good job," he said. 

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