recommended reading

Hiring Cyber Talent Is Key In Pentagon's Potential 'Offensive Measures'

U.S. Navy

The Senate Armed Services’ cyber subcommittee wants the Defense Department to be ready for offensive cyber operations and to recruit supporting talent.

The federal government needs to be prepared to "engage in offensive measures, if required," SASC Deputy General Counsel Samantha Clark said on a panel Tuesday at the Executive Women’s Forum Cybersecurity Women on Capitol Hill Day. The subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., has been exploring which legal authorities would allow DOD to do that, she said.

Another challenge the subcommittee is working through are ways to recruit much-needed personnel. The group is trying to identify the appropriate ratio of contractors and permanent personnel while also absorbing commercial talent through public-private partnerships and finding ways to let professionals flow seamlessly move in and out of the government.

Lawmakers have also discussed ways in which the National Guard staff members might be deployed to states—for example, if the New York Stock Exchange was targeted in a cyberattack—in addition to their federal duties.

Another discussion has centered on tapping “those hotspots in California, New York, Austin," whose concentration of tech talent might be more drawn to the civilian missions, she said. One approach might be to ask young techies, "how would you like to spend your weekend doing some really cool secret … government stuff?"

Defense laboratories have used public-private partnerships to send DOD personnel to the private sector for brief stints, tasking them with collecting "best practices" and bringing them back to the Pentagon. That strategy is often used for acquisition staff, but the department could use it more broadly for cybersecurity.

"We have to have a cyber plan, we have to have a strategy in place," Clark said. "We can't wait for a catastrophic event."

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.