Homeland Security begins aggressive cyber workforce expansion
- By Justin Katz
- May 11, 2021
The Department of Homeland Security launched its 60-day workforce sprint with an aggressive campaign to hire more cybersecurity professionals.
During remarks at a May 5 U.S. Chamber of Commerce event, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called the sprint, which began that same day, "the most significant hiring initiative that DHS has undertaken in its history."
The new campaign aims to hire 200 cyber personnel by July 1, according to a DHS statement. Half of those "conditional job offers" will be made by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, while the other half will be made by various other DHS component agencies.
The cybersecurity workforce gap is well documented by projects such as CyberSeek, which tracks the workforce and is backed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Department of Commerce.
The secretary in March announced the 60-day sprints focusing on a variety of topics. The first was on ransomware, which was prioritized because of "the gravity of the threat" and because "the threat is not tomorrow's threat, but it is upon us," he said. The recent event was largely focused on the threat of ransomware to small businesses.
Mayorkas in April said DHS had formed its own ransomware task force and that the White House is actively developing a plan to confront the issue. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice has also recently established its own ransomware taskforce.
The Biden administration is expected to publish a wide-ranging executive order focused on a myriad of cybersecurity issues.
This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to GCN.
Justin Katz is a former staff writer at FCW.