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The federal workforce may fall short when it comes to a strong cybersecurity workforce. Not only are they faced with the challenge of hiring and retaining a cyber workforce, many educational programs fall short on the demand for cybersecurity expertise. The government is working to implement programs to reskill and provide learning programs to strengthen cyber workforce development.
This spring, President Trump signed the Executive Order on America’s Cybersecurity Workforce to promote and ascertain a superior cybersecurity workforce. Established from this order, the National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is designed to bridge the skill gap for cybersecurity positions.
In addition, NICE published the Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NICE Framework) to“improve communication about how to identify, recruit, develop, and retain cybersecurity talent.” The NICE Framework breaks down an agency’s workforce into categories, work roles, skills, and abilities. It serves as a fundamental reference to describe and share information about cybersecurity work and the knowledge needed to complete tasks to strengthen the cybersecurity posture of an organization.
The potential impact of the cybersecurity workforce gap is being felt firsthand by the federal government. To address the current cyber workforce shortage, the government plans to train and incentivize new cybersecurity professionals to enter and remain in the field. These cyber professionals can also serve as the next generation of cyber experts.
Along with IT modernization, data is now being treated as a strategic asset in the federal government. According to Federal Deputy CIO Margie Graves, who participated as an opening panelist at Law Enforcement and Public Safety (LEAP) Forum earlier this year said, “We don’t have as much of a pipeline as we would like for cybersecurity specialists or data scientists.” She went on to say the government needs to do more to get qualified candidates in front of government job recruiters.
Partnerships with Educators
Important to realize, the policies from the federal government and guidance from other agencies encourage partnerships with universities across America which further extends the channel for qualified candidates to enter the cybersecurity workforce. Cybersecurity programs will be introduced to students from elementary school to graduate school to eventually attract cybersecurity experts to federal careers.
There is a critical need for more cybersecurity professionals who can design and maintain secure systems as well as identify and eliminate risks in software and networks. In fact, a recent CSIS survey of IT decision makers in eight countries revealed that 82 percent of employers report a deficit in cybersecurity skills. Of the same group, 71 percent agreed the shortage of this talent group directly resulted in loss of data, productivity and revenue. Collectively, a cybersecurity workforce is critical to infrastructure, national defense, and a modern economy.
The cybersecurity workforce gap spans from coast to coast. To close the gap, recruiters and HR professionals must decipher the demand for cybersecurity positions in their region and work to compete for qualified candidates. Organizations must prioritize a workforce development strategy to encompass a wider recruitment effort, provide robust onboarding, and offer continual learning opportunities.
Strengthening the cybersecurity workforce should be at the top of every IT modernization task. With a better understanding of the cyber workforce gaps, organizations and agencies can look for candidates who possess what the field of cybersecurity demands. By the same token, new learning opportunities can engage existing employees in cyber workforce development.
Every organization must navigate the cyber workforce talent gap for solutions to hire, manage, train, and retain highly-skilled cybersecurity professionals. On balance with the goal, intuitive technology can help manage the cyber workforce development process. Acendre’s recruitment solutions for the US Federal Government will help you quickly and securely fulfill your cybersecurity hiring initiatives. Take a closer look at how you can bring it all together in one enterprise talent management system. Contact us today.