Last week, the White House announced the National Cyber Workforce and Education Summit to address the crisis that is our nation’s cybersecurity talent shortage. With over 700,000 open roles alone in the United States, we are facing not only an industry crisis but one that affects national security, as Russia and China and a slew of organized cybercriminal groups continue to wage cyberattacks across the globe.
During the summit, the White House put a stake in the ground, announcing that an official strategy is coming this fall to address this critical issue. Now that this important summit has taken place, here are a few recommendations that policymakers should keep in mind as they formulate the official strategy.
Treat Cybersecurity as the Skilled Trade It Is
Coming out of the summit, the Department of Labor announced the 120-Day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint, expanding the use of Registered Apprenticeship programs to apply to cybersecurity jobs and upskill and train individuals who are interested in breaking into the industry.
While this is a step in the right direction, the government can assist further with the cyber talent gap by increasing support and funding for programs that promote cybersecurity in high schools, provide scholarships in college, cybersecurity trade programs, or even creating an extended cyber “Peace Corps” in which the government would pay for training after which the recipient would give years of service providing free expertise to organizations around the country.
Similarly, we must hold the private sector accountable for