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FCW : October 30, 2013
16 October 30, 2013 FCW.COM Cybersecurity workforce cybersecurity professionals exist, but they are often too small, still evolving or not comprehensive enough. Overall, a sense of disorganization and worry hangs over the state of the cybersecurity workforce. But many experts hope that signi cant efforts underway in government and industry will start to bridge the chasm between needs and capabilities. "Do we have enough? Probably not today, based on what we ve forecasted for the demand tomorrow," said Air Force CIO Lt. Gen. Michael Basla. "Do we have some sights in mind, some forecasts and people interested? Yes. We re now going through an exercise looking at a composition of the Air Force contribution to the U.S. Cyber Command requirements. It s a big job in front of us with a lot of attention on it right now." The Defense Department is ahead of much of the rest of the government in terms of developing its digital work- force. Each Pentagon component has its own expansive cybersecurity train- ing programs whose participants range from entry-level enlistees to highly spe- cialized of cers. Although DOD might have the great- est need in terms of the number of positions to ll, it has the advantage of a built-in workforce trained to its speci cations. The greater concern is civilian personnel in the rest of the federal government. "On the civilian side, you really have to have a program almost from the cradle to the grave," said Gil Vega, who was chief information secu- rity of cer at the Energy Department before stepping down in August. "We need to be more formalized in how we recruit, train and develop. We haven t yet seen the answer to that problem. We face it at DOE, and my colleagues at other Cabinet-level agencies are fac- ing it as well." Educate early and often Increasingly, programs that target students from elementary school to college are promoting science, tech- nology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The National Institute of Standards Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis changed how many people view contractors and their role in the gov- ernment. In cybersecurity, where trust is one of the most fundamental pieces in securing and defending networks, many are won- dering if the government should rely so heavily on contractors. But across the board, sources stress the need to refrain from judging an entire segment of the workforce based on the actions of a few. Federal employees would certainly not want to be judged by the actions of notorious spies such as Aldrich Ames or Robert Hanssen. "It s important to under- stand that contractors are no more or less threats against classi ed systems than government employ- ees," said Evan Lesser, managing director of ClearanceJobs.com. "Bet- ter surveillance technol- ogy needs to be in place to catch people who wish to steal classi ed data. USB ash-drive ports need to be removed from clas- si ed network comput- ers. Additionally, workers caught stealing classi- ed information should be heavily prosecuted to make examples of them to others considering doing the same." Other sources said more attention should be focused on securing systems against insider threats, including improv- ing the clearance process. "It may be a question of speeding up the clear- ance process and being cognizant of need to know, " said Clark DeHav- en, general manager of LGS Innovations mobil- ity and wireless solutions business unit. "We need to think about how we set up layers of protec- tions so that if something is compromised, it can be quickly quarantined. If Snowden was a systems administrator, why did he have access to all that information and [those] documents? I expect a lot more conversation about how to implement need to know as a way of quar- antining insider threats to systems." Howard Schmidt, for- merly White House cyber- security coordinator and now executive director of SAFECode and a partner at Ridge-Schmidt Cyber, agreed that it s an insider- threat problem, not a con- tractor problem. "It s inappropriate to paint all contractors because of the actions of one or a few," he said. "Instead, focus should be on worrying about the insider threat. There are reasons why we have con- tractors in addition to civil- ians and military. You can t brand one segment." --- Amber Corrin Whom do you trust? Industry leaders say government contractors should not be judged based on the actions of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden (center). AP IMAGES
September 30, 2013
November 15, 2013