What Federal Cyber Workers Think Would Improve Hiring


Agencies could improve cyber hiring by offering to sponsor certification and training programs, survey respondents say.

Half of federal government cybersecurity workers polled recently think their agency’s digital security has improved during the past year and only 4 percent think their agency’s security is worse than last year, according to a workforce survey released Tuesday.

Nearly 70 percent of the 2,620 civilian and military respondents said there were too few information security workers in their organization, however, according to the Center for Cyber Safety and Education’s Global Information Security Workforce Study

The respondents cited the difficulty of finding and retaining qualified personnel as top reasons for the workforce shortage, according to the study sponsored by the cybersecurity certification group (ISC)², Booz Allen Hamilton and Alta Associates.

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The best ways to attract new cyber workers to government positions are sponsoring certification or training programs, offering flexible schedules and pay incentives, the survey respondents said.

The greatest need is for cyber workers at a mid-career but nonmanagerial level, according to 78 percent of survey respondents. Demand for managers and entry-level cyber workers was significantly lower.

About 64 percent of respondents expect the number of information security workers at their agency to increase in the next year while 32 percent expect no change in the number of workers and 4 percent expect a decrease.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents said government mandates aid their ability to secure their agencies while only 17 percent said those requirements hinder security.