Cyber Security News / Security Newswire

Survey says Shortage Of Cybersecurity Professionals Poses Risk To National Security

June 19, 2014
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

The nationwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals – particularly for positions within the federal government – creates risks for national and homeland security, according to a new study from the RAND Corporation.

Demand for trained cybersecurity professionals who work to protect organizations from cybercrime is high nationwide, but the shortage is particularly severe in the federal government, which does not offer salaries as high as the private sector.

"It's largely a supply-and-demand problem," said Martin Libicki, lead author of the study and senior management scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

"As cyber attacks have increased and there is increased awareness of vulnerabilities, there is more demand for the professionals who can stop such attacks. But educating, recruiting, training and hiring these cybersecurity professionals takes time."

Libicki and coauthors David Senty and Julia Pollak reviewed previous studies on the topic, examined the economics of particular kinds of skilled labor shortages, conducted interviews with managers and educators of cybersecurity professionals, and examined the kinds of skill sets required for these jobs.

Libicki said the demand for cybersecurity professionals began to overtake supply in 2007, largely due to increased reports of large-scale hacking, including the leakage of credit card data, attacks on Internet connectivity, and the discovery of "advanced persistence threats" – teams of hackers who go after intellectual property by establishing a persistent presence in the networks of U.S. and other technology targets.

The cybersecurity manpower shortage is primarily at the high end of the capability scale, commanding salaries of more than $200,000 to $250,000, Libicki said. However, many large organizations have found ways of dealing with the shortage through internal promotion and education efforts.

Some of the recommendations from the RAND study include waiving civil service rules that impede the hiring of talented cybersecurity professionals, maintaining government hiring of these professionals through sequestrations, funding software licenses and related equipment for educational programs, refining tests to identify candidates likely to succeed in these careers, and developing methods to attract women into the field.

A longer-term approach entails reducing the demand for cybersecurity professionals in the first place by limiting the use of problematic computer applications or encouraging the development of harder-to-hack operating systems.

In the meantime, Libicki also says government officials should trust that market forces and existing programs will, in time, mitigate the shortage of cybersecurity professionals. In any case, he notes that drastic steps taken today will still take years to produce results.

Read more: http://www.newsroomamerica.com/story/427836/shortage_of_cybersecurity_professionals_poses_risk_to_national_security.html

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Security Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASIS 2013 Product Preview

ASIS International 59th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 24-27 in Chicago, Illinois, will include an exhibit hall packed with innovative security solutions. Here are some of the products that will be shown at ASIS this year.

Podcasts

Virtualization and Data Center Security: What You Need to Know for 2014

Data centers are increasingly becoming the center of the enterprise, and data center and cyber security is following the same path for security departments. According to Justin Flynn, a consultant at the Burwood Group, the virtualization of data centers allows enterprises to scale more easily and faster, with a smaller footprint.

However, hosting enterprise data in the cloud can make intrusion detection more difficult – how can enterprise security leaders team up with other departments to keep aware of cyber risks and traffic, and physical and data compliance during the virtual transition? How can CISOs and CSOs discuss cyber threats with the C-Suite to get the resources they need? And how can the proper infrastructure test and verify possible malicious attacks? 

More Podcasts

Security Magazine

September 2014

2014 September

In the September issue of Security Magazine, find out who this year's most influential people are in the security industry are. Also, take a peek at the technology products that ASIS 2014 will be showcasing at the upcoming event. Read about the lessons learned from security at the World Cup, find out why tactical medical training is a must for your enterprise and how Atlanta increased security by sharing surveillance.
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Adopting New Technology

How long do you wait before adopting a new technology?
View Results Poll Archive

THE SECURITY STORE

comptiahighriseproductphoto
CompTIA Security+ Certification Study Guide
CompTIA's Security+ certification is a globally-recognized, vendor neutral exam that has helped over 60,000 IT professionals reach further and higher in their careers. The current Security+ exam (SY0-201) focuses more on being able to deal with security issues rather than just identifying them.
More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to read more.  

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13Google+