U.S. Cybersecurity Comes Up Short
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A new study from the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen and Hamilton has warned of severe shortcomings in the federal government's defenses against cyber threats, highlighting a critical shortage of skilled security professionals and a lack of coordination among the agencies.
"With most Americans, it would hardly set off alarms to hear that our federal workforce faces significant challenges, such as difficulty in recruiting and retaining highly skilled workers, a reliance on contractors to fill talent gaps, poor management and arcane processes that undermine employee performance, and a lack of coordination that leaves some agencies competing against one another for talent," the report said.
"What should get people's attention is the fact that these government-wide problems are particularly acute within the federal cybersecurity workforce, creating potential for major vulnerabilities for our national security."
The private sector, in the form of government contractors, often steps in to fill the talent void. In the Department of Homeland Security, for instance, contractors account for 83 percent of the workforce in the office of the CIO.
"Government not only needs to recruit and train more people with cybersecurity expertise, it needs more people who can effectively manage the blended cybersecurity workforce," the report concluded.
Next page: So what is to be done?