It’s a good time to be a geek.
Hoping to jump-start a flagging vision for stronger cybersecurity, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (right) has announced the department will hire as many as 1,000 cybersecurity professionals over the next three years.
The announcement came Thursday as Napolitano kicked off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. “This new hiring authority will enable DHS to recruit the best cyber analysts, developers, and engineers in the world to serve their country by leading the nation’s defenses against cyber threats,” said Napolitano in remarks delivered at a Washington cybersecurity forum.
And, in what may further competition with industry for already sought-after talent, Napolitano stated that one of the hiring goals will be “to bring some of that expertise into the public sector.”
Plan to recruit cyber ‘best’: doable?
How realistic is Napolitano’s vision to recruit the “best cyber analysts, developers and engineers in the world”? Not very, says threatpost’s Dennis Fisher: “That’s an overly optimistic and simplistic view of the situation … Recruiting the ‘best’ requires a number of things, not the least of which is money …another problem is that many of the best security professionals in the world don’t live in the United States.”
Still, it’s a start. Napolitano’s vision for a “world-class cyber organization” comes at a time of growing uncertainty over the Obama administration’s approach to cybersecurity. Back in May, President Obama released the findings of a much-anticipated 60-day cybersecurity review conducted by Melissa Hathaway. Obama followed up those findings with the announcement that a cyber coordinator would be appointed.
In other news: still no cyber coordinator
Nearly five months after the government’s release of the 60-day cybersecurity review, the position for cyber coordinator remains unfilled. On Sept. 9, however, Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra announced that the FBI’s Deputy Assistant Director of the Cyber Division, Chris Painter, would temporarily fill the post of acting White House senior director for cybersecurity. Speaking to reporters at a Gov 2.0 Summit, Chopra stated that a permanent appointee would be named in the “not too distant future.”
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