Shortage of Computer Experts Hinder Cyber-Defense
A Washington Post article on June 24, 2009 reported the planned establishment of a Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber-Defense Command by October 2009 with full operational capability by October 2010. The Cyber-Defense Command’s mission will be to defend military networks, but will assist federal civilian networks.
Of concern is the potential threat to national security from increasing coordinated cyberattacks. In the article Ron Sanders, chief human capital officer for the national intelligence director’s office, acknowledged that the intelligence community has more flexibility and resources to attract computer specialists but said there is still an overall shortfall of U.S. citizens with the needed expertise who can also meet security clearance requirements. DoD claims more than 90,000 cybersecurity workers; other federal agencies are estimated to have a total of 35,000 to 45,000 personnel. The private study, Cyber IN-Security: Strengthening the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce, which details serious problems within the professional community charged with protecting the government’s computer networks against attacks, was produced by the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton.
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