Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Kevin Coleman

Cybersecurity staff shortage puts nation at risk

The growing dependency on information systems and devices continues to grow. This growth has increased the need for cybersecurity staff members to provide defenses against a plethora of cyber threats that we face. The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently projected that by 2015, the United States will need 700,000 new cybersecurity professionals.

Where will we get all these resources? According to the 2011 QS World University Rankings for Computer Science and Information Systems programs, the top five countries and the number of universities they have in the top 50 are:

  1. 1. United States, 21.
  2. 2. United Kingdom, 6.
  3. 3. Australia, 5.
  4. 4. Canada, 4.
  5. 5. China, 3.

We have world class university programs that provide the foundation for those studying cybersecurity and equally as important is continuing education. As the cyber threat environment continues adapt to the defense measures we put in place and leverage new and creative methods of attack, cyber defenders must update their knowledge and skills on nearly a continuous basis. This represents a significant difference from the mental models of education that are somewhat ingrained today.

Continuing education and ongoing training are critical to effectively working in the cybersecurity field. As technology continues to advance and new products and services emerge, the challenge of security in the connected environment will change and become more challenging as the diversity of the hardware and software increases. Integrating ongoing cyber training into the job descriptions and employment agreements must begin now. We do not have a choice, we must take action now to ensure we have those 700,000 cybersecurity professionals and continue to update the cybersecurity workforce and also the training programs our future cybersecurity workers will need.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Dec 22, 2011 at 12:54 PM


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