Federal Government Expects to Bring on 3,500 More Cyber Pros by 2017

A view of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Va.

A view of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Va. Evan Vucci/AP

The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy was characterized as a first step toward building a sustainable pipeline of government and industry data security talent that will last well into the future.

The White House on Tuesday unveiled a recruitment agenda that envisions a tour of duty fighting hackers for the U.S. government as part of any private cyber pro's career.

"The supply of cybersecurity talent to meet the increasing demand of the federal government is simply not sufficient," officials from the White House and Office of Personnel Management said in a government blog post. "This shortfall affects not only the federal government, but the private sector as well."

The newly released Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy was characterized as a first step toward building a sustainable pipeline of government and industry data security talent that will last well into the future. It also "sets forth a vision where private sector cybersecurity leaders would see a tour of duty in federal service as an essential stop in their career arc," according to the post. 

One of the short-term actions calls for agencies to hire 3,500 more people to fill "critical cybersecurity and IT positions" by January 2017.

The administration says it will find ways under existing law and current hiring authorities to expedite recruiting.

For example, the administration will consider establishing "a cybersecurity cadre" within the Presidential Management Fellows program. The cadre would be patterned off existing efforts to lure bright techies into federal agencies, specifically, the Presidential Innovation Fellows program and “other dynamic approaches for bringing top technologists and innovators into government service."

Congress has recently criticized the management of two such rotational programs: U.S. Digital Service, an IT troubleshooting team originated by some of the Silicon Valley tech experts working to salvage HealthCare.gov, and 18F, a tech consultancy guiding other agencies in projects such as agile software development.

There will also be an orientation program for new cybersecurity professionals entering the government. The aim there would be to improve information sharing and employees’ knowledge of upcoming developmental and training opportunities.

The White House says the government onboarded 3,000 new cyber and IT pros in the first six months of the fiscal year, which started October 2015.

In addition, the administration plans to explore opportunities to expand the use of new or revised pay authorities, as well as work to retain talent who give public service a try and like it. This will involve the Office of Personnel Management coordinating with agencies to develop cybersecurity career paths, badging and credentialing programs, and rotational assignments, so employees can become subject matter experts in their field.

The White House is asking agencies to identify the types of security pros in most need by consulting a cybersecurity workforce framework organized by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education.

The workforce strategy builds off goals outlined in February by President Barack Obama inside a $19 billion cybersecurity budget and accompanying Cybersecurity National Action Plan.

According to the White House, the strategy supports the plan’s proposed $62 million investment in expanding higher education opportunities for promising cyber students. The fund will help cover scholarships and full tuition for college and university students through the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program. The pool of money also will go toward "program development grants" that would allow universities, among other things, to hire or retain professors and stand up a cybersecurity core curriculum.

The Cybersecurity National Action Plan followed a major theft of data at OPM, in which suspected Chinese hackers copied the Social Security numbers and other private details on 21.5 million national security workers and contacts.

"Every day, federal departments and agencies face sophisticated and persistent cyberthreats that pose strategic, economic and security challenges to our nation," the officials said Tuesday. "Addressing these cyberthreats has required a bold reassessment of the way we approach security in the digital age and a significant investment in critical security tools and our cybersecurity workforce."

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.