Eleven tips for building a stronger cybersecurity workforce

By Brittany Ballenstedt

October 3, 2012

October marks National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and as part of that effort, an advisory council at the Homeland Security Department has put forth 11 recommendations for the government in how it can best develop, recruit and retain sophisticated cybersecurity talent.

The Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Task Force on Cyber Skills on Tuesday released its recommendations, which include creating a dedicated cybersecurity career path, improving training, streamlining the hiring process and improving opportunities for veterans to be trained and hired for mission-critical cybersecurity work.

The report cites several recent cyber attacks at government agencies like the Commerce Department and private companies like Google and Exxon-Mobil as reasons why having a top-notch cybersecurity workforce is critical to not only respond to emerging threats but also get ahead of the new attack tempo. “Finding the people with the needed skills, however, poses a dilemma,” the report states. “The numbers of professionals with these mission-critical skills are so limited that government contractors and federal agencies compete with one another and the private sector to hire them.”

The task force recommended that DHS:

The task force, which is co-chaired by Jeff Moss, chief security officer at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, was announced in June as part of an effort to better develop, recruit and retain the mission-critical cybersecurity talent, or “hunters,” needed to perform effective cybersecurity work. The task force gained broad access inside DHS to gather data and better understand what has already been done and what needs to be done to meet those goals.

“If implemented, [these] recommendations will not only expand the national pipeline of men and women with advanced cybersecurity skills,” the report states, “but will also enable DHS to become a preferred employer for the talent produced by that pipeline, positioning the department to help make the United States safer, more secure, and more resilient.”


By Brittany Ballenstedt

October 3, 2012

http://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/wired-workplace/2012/10/eleven-tips-building-stronger-cybersecurity-workforce/58564/