A new federal cyber workforce plan – TechToday

At TechNet Cyber ​​2023 in Baltimore, Mark Gorak, principal director of resources and analysis for the Defense Department’s deputy chief information officer, spoke about the Pentagon’s massive cyber workforce shortage and its goal to implement a cultural shift in the recruitment of cybersecurity and infosec roles.


With more than 30,000 cybersecurity and infosec positions, the DoD is changing the way it has historically hired for these roles.

“We’ve been trying to fix this problem for about a decade, and it’s only getting worse,” he said.

The agency is developing a plan to implement a cyber-employment strategy released last month. That plan has a five-year horizon and will be unveiled this summer, Gorak said GovCIO’s CyberCast at the Armed Forces International Communications and Electronics Association cyber conference on Tuesday.

While the strategy is based on identifying workforce needs, both for its military and cyber workforce, and recruiting, developing and retaining talent, DoD is taking a more practical look at what it does that a candidate is qualified to provide cyber security.

“If you can come in and demonstrate that ability to do the job, you’re qualified. That’s where we should be, and that’s going to take some time to get there, but that’s where we’re leaning forward,” Gorak explained.

The DoD will use its existing cyber workforce framework to classify employees by job functions rather than occupational codes, which Gorak previously called “adaptive, flexible and responsive to the workforce,” in its larger effort to apply enterprise-wide talent management to your cyber workforce. .

For the implementation, Gorak said the agency will move away from its focus on infosec skills acquired before hire and move to assessing candidates’ critical capabilities and encouraging ongoing technical training on the job , as it does in other specialized fields, such as law. and medicine

“It’s not a new thing, but we’ve never done it in our technical staff,” he said.


TechNet Cyber ​​is a flagship event for government-wide efforts to advance the capabilities needed to meet global security challenges and operate successfully in a digital environment, and it spans all sectors.

Infosec workforce challenges are found across numerous industries, and US healthcare systems plagued by cyberattacks are challenged to dominate the industry’s significant attack surfaces due to workforce shortages cybernetics

“The battle for talent in healthcare today is broader than the shortage of doctors and nurses. Health IT teams face many of the same labor challenges as others in the healthcare industry, including shortages of cybersecurity, digital, cloud and data talent,” said Brad Reimer, CIO of Sanford Health. Health informatics news in January

To deliver a $350 million virtual care initiative and the modern data ecosystem challenges facing the large health system serving the Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska, Reimer noted that the demand for all health IT functions is increasing at a faster rate than that of the new university. graduates entering the workforce and there is competition for talent “with any other company that has a technology need.”

Add to this the national call to improve critical infrastructure cyber security, and both government and critical infrastructure sectors are competing for a talent supply that is still short of supply and needs to adapt the way they hire and retain talent.


“The training channel — we need to expand that, so we have more of it,” Gorak told the conference.

With the new implementation plan, “If you’ve passed a cyber scope assessment instrument, you should be qualified for the job.”

To keep the cyber workforce up-to-date, “We’re looking at annual assessments on that.”

Andrea Fox is a senior editor at Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recently announced their new federal cyber workforce plan, TechToday, with the intention of creating a new generation of technology professionals to improve the nation’s cyber defenses. Through training and matching initiatives, TechToday will give thousands of individuals from diverse backgrounds the chance to meet the nation’s workforce needs.

Ikaroa is pleased to join DHS in promoting this important initiative. We recognize that an effective cyber defense requires talented individuals with the knowledge and experience to respond to heightened cyber-threats, and see in this program a strong mechanism to meet the much-needed qualified cyber professionals.

By focusing on the current cyber talent shortage, TechToday affords domestic cybersecurity professionals the most comprehensive cyber workforce technology training and development available. This innovative program will provide incentives to individuals to help build a pipeline of highly trained professionals, ready to tackle cyberattacks from wherever they may come.

Furthermore, TechToday connects employers with cybersecurity professionals who possess the skills and knowledge needed for those specific roles. By pairing the right professionals with the right programs, DHS can develop the most talented andcapable cybersecurity professionals in the U.S. and beyond.

The importance of an effective cyber-defense must not be overlooked, and the program announced by DHS is a step in the right direction. As a full-stack tech company operating in multiple industries, Ikaroa is proud to support this federal cyber workforce plan and uphold its mission to protect the nation’s cyberspace.


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