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Homeland Security

Secretary Napolitano Announces New Hiring Authority for Cybersecurity Experts

Release Date: 
October 1, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today kicked off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by announcing the Department’s new authority to recruit and hire cybersecurity professionals across DHS over the next three years—established to help fulfill the Department’s broad mission to protect the nation’s cyber infrastructure, systems and networks.

“Effective cybersecurity requires all partners—individuals, communities, government entities and the private sector—to work together to protect our networks and strengthen our cyber resiliency,” said Secretary Napolitano. “This new hiring authority will enable DHS to recruit the best cyber analysts, developers and engineers in the world to serve their country by leading the nation’s defenses against cyber threats.”

The new hiring authority, which results from a collaborative effort between DHS, the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget, allows the Department to staff up to 1,000 positions over three years across all DHS components to fulfill critical cybersecurity roles—including cyber risk and strategic analysis; cyber incident response; vulnerability detection and assessment; intelligence and investigation; and network and systems engineering.

Although DHS does not anticipate the need to fill all 1,000 positions, this cap reflects the Obama administration’s commitment to equipping DHS with the critical tools necessary to build a world-class cyber organization and compete for cybersecurity talent.

Secretary Napolitano made the announcement in remarks marking the start of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. She was joined by Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III and White House National Security Staff Acting Senior Director for Cybersecurity Chris Painter.

In her remarks, Secretary Napolitano emphasized the important roles shared by individuals and the private sector—in partnership with the federal government—in protecting the nation’s cyber networks from terrorism and intrusion.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month highlights the steps being taken by government entities to secure the nation’s cyber infrastructure through programs such as the DHS National Cybersecurity Division and the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. Throughout October, DHS and its public and private sector partners will promote efforts to educate citizens on guarding against cyber threats at home, work and school.

For more information about National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, visit www.uscert.gov, www.staysafeonline.org or www.msisac.org.

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