The awards come at a time when cybersecurity occupies far more resources than ever before, according to a new survey of U.S. information technology (IT) professionals released. More than 80 percent of IT professionals say that cybersecurity is consuming more of their time than just one to two years ago; and 87 percent predict the cyber-threat landscape will only get worse.
“With our nation’s workforce facing a serious cybersecurity skills gap, our three honorees are committed to ensuring that federal IT workers can meet the demands of the rapidly changing cyber threat landscape,” said Todd Thibodeaux, CompTIA’s president and CEO. “Data is critical to government functions, making it a valuable resource that malicious actors have sought to exploit. With such sensitive data at risk, these honorees are leading the charge to ensure that government workers have the skills and resources to protect federal systems now and in the future.”
IT professionals surveyed by CompTIA do not see a single silver bullet to enable government to close the cyber-skills gap in the federal workforce. The best and most effective federal cyber security workforce will require a multi-faceted approach, combining formal education, on-the-job training and change to workplace culture and compensation incentives.
The survey also reveals that
- 76 percent of IT professionals believe the government should offer more competitive salaries and flexible work arrangements for its technology workers
- 72 percent said the government should do a better job of identifying and promoting career pathways for civilian and military government cyber professionals
- 61 percent said the government should enhance or expand cyber scholarships to offset education costs in return for government service
- 59 percent said government employers should be better educated and accepting of cyber professionals without 4-year-college degrees.
About the Excellence in Cybersecurity Honorees
Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)
Rep. Langevin has been one of the leading voices in the House on cybersecurity issues through his leadership on the House Armed Services Committee Emerging Threats subcommittee and the House Homeland Security Committees subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. Rep. Langevin has championed a competition introducing high school students to the rapidly growing cybersecurity field and obtained funding to start other workforce development initiatives. These proposals are crucial for ensuring we fill out the next generation cyber workforce.
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD)
As the chair of the Senate Armed Services Cybersecurity Subcommittee, Sen. Rounds has been instrumental in overseeing Defense Department programs related to cyber forces and capabilities. Sen. Rounds also sponsored the DOD Cyber Scholarship Program Act, which seeks to modify and enhance an existing DOD scholarship program for students pursuing degrees in cybersecurity fields. Such a measure would represent an important step supporting the nation’s ongoing need for a strong cyber workforce.
Lisa Dorr, Director of IT Workforce Planning and Development and Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Information Security (OIS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Lisa Dorr’s work at the Department of Health and Human Services implementing the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act has been a critical step in securing the personal information of millions of Americans. Through her leadership, Lisa has spearheaded HHS’s efforts to develop and implement vital cybersecurity policies and processes, execute smart workforce development strategies, and implement much-needed security-focused training and awareness that will ultimately lead to increased protections across the department’s most sensitive networks.
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