Cyber Workforce EO Draws Good Reviews from Hill, Industry

Capital, House of Representatives, Congress, Senate

The Executive Order on America’s Cybersecurity Workforce, released by the White House on Thursday, May 2, is earning mostly positive reviews from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, as well as industry.

In Congress, the mostly bipartisan issue of improving the cyber workforce – both in the Federal government and in the country at-large – generated positive feedback from both Democrats and Republicans.

“Thank you, @POTUS, for taking an important step toward strengthening our ability to defend against damaging cyberattacks,” tweeted Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D.

“The federal government must have experts in place to thwart ever-evolving cyber threats. Yesterday I joined in introducing a bipartisan bill to attract + retain cybersecurity professionals – I am pleased that the President issued an executive order supporting our efforts,” tweeted Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., in response to the EO.

“We have a serious deficit in the number of skilled cyber defenders to protect our critical assets in cyberspace, a deficit compounded by the growing threats we face. I give full credit to the Trump Administration for recognizing this gap and taking steps to close it, both within the Federal government and across the private sector,” said Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I.

Congress also took advantage of the opportunity to promote its own bills on cyber workforce. Hassan made mention of the Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act, which passed the Senate unanimously this week. In his statement, Langevin mentioned the Cybersecurity Skills Integration Act he introduced in the House as well.

In the cybersecurity industry, leaders shared the positive reaction to the EO.

“It’s great to see that the current administration recognizes both the importance of cybersecurity and the shortage of qualified practitioners,” said Dan Tuchler, chief marketing officer at SecurityFirst.

“It’s good news for those with the skills that the US government is willing to go above and beyond in terms of offering competitive compensation for those with the skills,” said Laurie Mercer, security engineer at HackerOne.

However, the praise comes with the acknowledgement that the need for more efforts on cybersecurity still stands.

“While this Executive Order is a step in the right direction and further affirms the reality of cybersecurity as a widespread issue that touches every person and every industry, this just represents a down payment in the protection of our nation’s cyber infrastructure,” said Pravin Kothari, founder and CEO of CipherCloud.

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