Accenture’s George Franz, Kristen Vaughan: DoD Needs Highly Skilled Workforce to Achieve Cyber Resilience

Accenture’s George Franz, Kristen Vaughan: DoD Needs Highly Skilled Workforce to Achieve Cyber Resilience
George Franz Cybersecurity Lead AFS Natl Security Unit

George Franz and Kristen Vaughan of Accenture Federal Services wrote in a joint opinion piece published Wednesday on C4ISRNET that there are four steps that could help Department of Defense organizations advance workforce development to improve their cyber resilience and one is assessing the talent they will need in the next five years.

Franz, a retired Army major general, and Vaughan said DoD organizations should support that assessment with a gap analysis to determine which specific cyber skills they will need.

Another step is workforce reskilling. They said there are four fundamental options to source the needed skills and those are through training and reskilling, obtaining skills through contractors, recruitment and automation.

“To make training resonate more effectively, apply human-centered design principles,” Vaughan and Franz wrote. “HCD principles focus on employee experience and use collaboration, data-driven insights and engagement with all relevant stakeholders so that the resulting training programs address the critical needs of all affected user groups.”

Organizations should develop their employee value proposition and come up with creative approaches when recruiting cyber talent by promoting collaboration between an agency’s information security officer and chief human capital officer.

“Finally, be mindful that building an effective cyber workforce is a journey that relies upon continuous growth and improvement,” they wrote. “Any cybersecurity training program should have flexibility to adapt to rapidly-changing situations, new missions and adaptive threats.”

Franz is a managing director and defense cybersecurity lead at Accenture Federal Services’ national security business, while Vaughan is a managing director and human capital practice lead at the company.

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