FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2009
Contact: Samantha Donaldson
202-775-9111

SERIOUS SHORTAGES IN FEDERAL CYBERSECURITY WORKFORCE, LACK OF LEADERSHIP AND COORDINATION THREATEN NATIONAL SECURITY, ACCORDING TO PARTNERSHIP FOR PUBLIC SERVICE REPORT

WASHINGTON – Serious shortages of skilled cyber professionals and a lack of leadership, planning and coordination within the federal cybersecurity workforce threaten our national security according to a report released today by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Cyber IN-Security: Strengthening the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce identifies serious problems within the professional community charged with protecting the government’s computer networks against attacks from foreign nations, criminal groups, hackers, virus writers and terrorist organizations.

“President Obama has declared cybersecurity to be ‘one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation’ and has pledged to address these threats,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “The only way to get it done is to build a vibrant, highly trained and dedicated federal cybersecurity workforce.”

The report details concerns about the lack of a strategic approach to cybersecurity talent issues, due largely to fragmentation and uncoordinated leadership. It also identifies that there is insufficient talent for today’s threats, compounded by an insufficient pipeline of skilled professionals for the future. According to the report, all of these factors are exacerbated by a broken and complicated hiring process that presents barriers to meeting agencies’ needs.
The report goes on to recommend that the White House develop a government-wide strategic blueprint to acquire, train and retain the cybersecurity talent the federal government needs.

Other key recommendations include:

  • Devising new job classifications, one classification hasn’t been updated since the 1980s;
  • Creating a dedicated, high-level team within OPM to identify and remove barriers to hiring top cybersecurity talent;
  • Encouraging members of Congress to expand and fund programs that train graduate and undergraduate students in cybersecurity; and
  • Developing training programs to ensure a state-of-the-art federal cybersecurity workforce.

The report is based on a survey of federal chief information officers (CIOs), chief information security officers (CISOs) and HR officials, and focus groups at 18 federal agencies along with examination of public testimony, reports and documents.

According to the Cyber IN-Security report, our federal government will be unable to combat cyber threats to our national security without a more coordinated, sustained effort to increase cybersecurity expertise in the federal workforce.

The Partnership for Public Service is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to revitalize the federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works.

Booz Allen Hamilton has been at the forefront of management consulting for businesses and governments for more than 90 years. Providing consulting services in strategy, operations, organization and change, and information technology, Booz Allen is the one firm that helps clients solve their toughest problems, working by their side to help them achieve their missions.  Booz Allen is committed to delivering results that endure.

To download a copy of the Cyber IN-Security report go to www.ourpublicservice.org.

# # #

The Partnership for Public Service is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to revitalize our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works.

PRESS ROOM