Pentagon Recruiting Drive Targets Fivefold Increase in Cyber Command
The U.S. Department of Defense reportedly plans to boost its cyber-security agency to nearly 5,000, but knowledgeable security professionals remain scarce.The U.S. military reportedly plans to boost its cyber operations force fivefold to nearly 5,000 individuals. However, the government will have to contend with a very competitive market for knowledgeable security professionals. Pentagon officials confirmed the expansion of forces for the U.S. Cyber Command over the weekend, according to separate reports in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Cyber Command is tasked with protecting critical national networks, defending the U.S. military from cyber-attacks and launching its own offensive operations through cyberspace. Currently, however, there is a shortage of security professionals with the necessary experience to fill the slots, according to Alan Paller, research director for the SANS Institute. Instead, the Pentagon will have to rely on a new model for intensively training the right kind of person, he said. "Right now, there aren't any people in the pipeline to fill those slots," Paller said. "There is no supply of them. If you hire someone, you are going to take them away from another company."
As part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Task Force on CyberSkills, Paller and other experts estimated that it would take 2,000 hours of on-the-job training to bring a college graduate to the level necessary to defend a network from attack.
The skills that the government and private industry are seeking include working knowledge of network administration and operating systems as well as system administration and application development.