Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., writes on The Hill's Congress Blog about the importance of securing a top-notch cybersecurity workforce in the federal government. The Defense Department, for example, has thousands of cybersecurity workers dedicated to combating cyber threats and building cybersecurity plans, but the Homeland Security Department has only 100 employees dedicated to this work.
"With the gap between military and civilian cybersecurity personnel as large as it is," Sanchez writes, "there needs to be strong government leadership to increase recruitment pools and employ the next generation of cyber leaders that will help and protect our civilian networks."
But will increasing the federal government's recruitment pools be effective if the talent needed is not there to begin with? The Partnership for Public Service noted in a report released in July that the federal government faces a pipeline of new cybersecurity talent that is inadequate. In response, the Partnership recommended reforming the federal hiring process, updating federal job classifications for cybersecurity functions and securing sufficient funding from Congress to train federal cybersecurity workers. There also may be some powerful lessons learned from agencies that have had the most success in recruiting and retaining cyber talent. Perhaps we'll see some legislation targeting these issues in the near future?