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US Department of Homeland Security toasts success of warp-speed drive to diversify cybersecurity workforce

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Adam Bannister

02 July 2021 at 15:22 UTC

Up to date: 02 July 2021 at 15:28 UTC

Federal company has crammed or discovered candidates for 800 positions in simply 60 days

US Department of Homeland Security toasts success of warp-speed drive to diversify cybersecurity workforce

The US Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) says it has smashed its hiring goal following probably the most formidable cybersecurity recruitment program in its historical past.

In a press release issued yesterday (July 1), the DHS mentioned it had onboarded practically 300 info safety professionals and made 500 tentative job affords in simply 60 days – exceeding the objective of its ‘Cybersecurity Workforce Dash’ by 50%.

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On Might 5, Secretary of Homeland Safety Alejandro N Mayorkas set a target of enlisting 200 new cybersecurity personnel by July 1, with a specific give attention to growing workforce range, together with in management positions.

To this finish, there was a “focused outreach to underserved communities and communities of shade”, mentioned the DHS.

Sequence of sprints

The Cybersecurity Workforce Dash was the second in a sequence of 60-day ‘sprints’ aimed toward constructing cyber resilience, following an inaugural ransomware-focused dash, with industrial management methods, transportation methods, election safety, and worldwide capacity-building nonetheless to return.

Within the coming weeks, the DHS mentioned it might additionally unveil a cybersecurity initiative aimed toward schoolgirls in grades 6-12, and a one-year skilled growth program for latest graduates, doubtlessly resulting in full-time positions within the DHS.

“The division’s 60-day Cybersecurity Workforce Dash has enabled DHS to fill 12% of our greater than 2,000 cybersecurity vacancies throughout a time when our nation is going through extraordinary cyber threats,” mentioned secretary of Homeland Safety Alejandro N Mayorkas. “Whereas I’m pleased with the progress we now have made to this point, we nonetheless have extra work to do.”

Systematic overhaul

The initiative’s success comes within the context of a worldwide cybersecurity abilities scarcity – albeit final yr noticed the first annual decrease in unfilled infosec roles in reminiscence, based on figures from trade coaching and certification physique ISC(2).

The DHS initiative can also be a part of a wider push to harden federal methods in opposition to an more and more audacious, refined array of nation state-backed cyber-adversaries.

President Biden has pledged billions of {dollars} to cybersecurity-related initiatives as a part of his $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, additionally issuing an Government Order in Might mandating a scientific audit and overhaul of the nation’s cybersecurity posture.

There was an enormous give attention to bolstering supply chains within the wake of the nation state-backed SolarWinds attack that impacted US authorities companies, Microsoft, and cybersecurity agency FireEye, amongst others.

Essential infrastructure is one other space of federal concern following a ransomware assault in opposition to the Colonial Pipeline Company that led to gasoline shortages within the southeast of the US.

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