You’d think Federal agencies would know how big their cybersecurity brigade is. They don’t.
You’d think the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security, on the front lines in protecting the nation’s cybersecurity, wouldn’t have any trouble recruiting and retaining cybersecurity professionals. It’s not that easy.
A new report by the Congressional Research Service found flaws in keeping track of the Fed’s cybersecurity teams and difficulties “assessing the size and capabilities of their cybersecurity workforce.”
It seems nobody is home minding the store.
“Developing and maintaining a robust Federal cybersecurity workforce has been an ongoing challenge,” the CRS report said.
And the demand for cybersecurity experts way outstrips the availability of these workers in the marketplace, CRS said.
The Office of Personnel Management has failed to define and identify Federal cybersecurity workforce positions or code all the positions; nor has it released a governmentwide count of the workforce to Congress, it said.
It’s time for Congress to step in to steady the process of enabling cybersecurity experts to put up an impenetrable firewall, CRS said.
Among the suggestions: Congress could ask agencies to define Federal cybersecurity positions, and direct the Government Accountability Office to evaluate the operation of the cybersecurity workforce. It also could review the hiring and pay flexibilities for the Pentagon and DHS, which need a cadre of Navy SEALs to keep their data secure.
To read the full report, click here.