Staffing Our National Cyber Defense [Commentary]

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To say there is a heightened concern over the ability to recruit skilled cyber resources to defend the nation is a woefully inadequate description. The defense industry, the critical infrastructure intelligence community, the military, local, state and federal authorities, and businesses in general are all competing for the limited number of resources that are available today, as well as those currently going to school with a focus on cybersecurity. That being the case, you know that competition will be extremely high. That has given birth to some very interesting conversations within all those that find themselves competing for the resources.

After looking into current recruiting techniques, both internally and through professional recruiters, a few initiatives became evident. Some organizations have basically decided to try and compete based on salary and benefits. Others talk about career advancement and use their brand to attract cyber talent. One of the conversations that keeps circling is a special cyber draft — which has a number of complications. It seems that everyone is talking about how to maintain the flow of candidates necessary to support their mission or business model.

Instead of talking about how best to compete for these resources as most are doing today, some organizations are beginning to take a much more strategic approach. They are asking: “How do we grow cybersecurity resources that we will need to be a part of our organization in three to five years?” One approach toward evolving is for organizations to create or partner to create their own cybersecurity training program. Building your own pool of cybersecurity resources is thought to have some very interesting benefits. That is certainly a trend that all those in this field should monitor as it moves ahead.