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FCW : October 30, 2013
20 October 30, 2013 FCW.COM dents to the SemperSecure survey. The increased emphasis on STEM education is aimed in part at creating a cybersecurity farm system that will pro- duce bene ts over the coming decades. However, to meet shorter-term needs, government could attract and retain cybersecurity talent by embracing non- traditional approaches to hiring, which often means moving away from overly bureaucratic hiring processes and per- sonnel policies. The government might be unlikely to offer the kind of flexibility many of today s young candidates prefer --- which include loosened requirements for college degrees, accreditation and clearances, not to mention Google- esque bene ts such as sleep pods or the option of bringing your dog to work. But exibility of a different type, such as the ability to easily move between departments and specialties, are appeal- ing perks for the modern workforce. "If you want to grow a cybersecurity workforce and you want those cross- functional skills, you have to allow people to move more freely within the organization and allow for changing career paths," said Eddie Schwartz, chief information security of cer at RSA, the security division of govern- ment contractor EMC. "At EMC, we have this idea of a career subway --- the idea that you can move from one skill set to another --- and that s a wel- come thing. To be effective, you want to encourage people to cross over if they have that interest. Those skills that they bring from different areas --- whether it s business analysis, data science, pro- gramming --- could be valuable in the security department." Although it takes much greater effort than just a few years ago to nd the right people and the right mix of civil- ian, military and contract employees to tackle next-generation security, the changes are necessary to fully address the growing cybersecurity threat. The urgency has been underscored over and over again by those in the highest ech- elons of government. "It s going to get worse, and we have to get a number of things done to pro- tect this country," said Gen. Keith Alex- ander, commander of Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, in late September. "The best in the world: That s what the American people expect...and that s what we re doing. Why? In this area, technical skills really matter. [We re] coming up with the operational concepts, and the com- mand and control is absolutely vital to the future." ■ As part of an effort to create a database of informa- tion on existing and future cybersecurity positions in the government, the Of ce of Personnel Man- agement issued a memo in July telling agencies how to measure their cybersecurity workforce. The memo includes quarterly milestones for monitor- ing the initiative's progress with the goal of com- pleting the database by the end of scal 2014. To minimize cumbersome reporting require- ments, OPM plans to monitor the information agencies are adding to the database and regularly discuss with agency of cials how well their prog- ress is aligning with key timeline requirements. Here are some of the upcoming deadlines: OPM's push to inventory cybersecurity jobs By the end of scal 2013: Agencies that are represented on the Chief Human Capital Of cers Council were required to review and code cybersecurity positions, including the incorporation in the IT management 2200 series and computer specialist 0334 series positions. Discussions with agen- cies have con rmed that action plans are under implementation. March 31, 2014: Agencies must code at least 60 percent of federal positions in the relevant series. Discussions and a database review must illustrate that plans are on track for comple- tion by the end of scal 2014. Sept. 30, 2014: The database must show that agencies have coded at least 90 percent of cybersecurity posi- tions. Discussions and a database review must con rm that the proj- ect has been completed. Cybersecurity workforce
September 30, 2013
November 15, 2013