Shortage of Talent Could Cripple Cybersecurity Plan
By Sandra I. Erwin
Everyone agrees that the United States needs better cybersecurity. But government agencies worry that they don’t have enough knowledge or talent to take on the challenge.
A major obstacle is the shortage of expertise, said Philip Reitinger, deputy undersecretary for the national protection and programs directorate at the Department of Homeland Security. “We are not producing in this country enough of the security talent, or development talent, that we need,” he said at a Center for a New American Security conference.
Industry experts agree. “The government will have to totally revolutionize the old ideas of what a government job is,” said Jason Verdugo, military analyst at Centurion Research Solutions. “You can’t take a master degreed programmer in information assurance and hire him at GS-9 for $55,000 a year. It will take doubling or tripling salaries and promotion opportunities.” The government also has to move IT acquisition from a “process of years, to a process of weeks or they will fail every time.”