On May 2, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the federal government to take critical steps to strengthen America’s cybersecurity workforce. Importantly, the Executive Order will enhance mobility of our country’s frontline cybersecurity practitioners, support the development of their skills to encourage excellence in the field, and help ensure the United States keeps its competitive edge in cybersecurity. The United States currently has a shortage of 300,000 cybersecurity practitioners.
“America’s cybersecurity practitioners—whether working in the private sector or serving in the federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial governments—constitute a core element in our country’s frontline defense, and we must urgently bolster them in the face of a myriad of cybersecurity threats,” said Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan. “DHS and this Administration are committed to bold action. From enabling movement between the private and public sectors to supporting our workforce’s training, education, and development, the President’s action today sets the course to expand and sustain the workforce and ensure America keeps its competitive edge in the critical field of cybersecurity.”
Under the Cybersecurity Workforce Executive Order, the Department of Homeland Security will work with partners from around the federal government on several initiatives to strengthen the workforce. DHS will create the Federal Cybersecurity Rotational Program, in which Information Technology (IT) and cybersecurity practitioners in the federal government can serve temporary assignments in DHS, and vice versa, sharing knowledge and cybersecurity best practices, undergoing training, and providing invaluable, varied experiences to the workforce. Additionally, DHS will identify aptitude assessments for use in identifying current employees who would be excellent candidates to work in IT and cybersecurity.
Together with the Department of Defense, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of Management Budget, and other partner agencies, DHS will plan the President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition to spur competition as well as challenge and reward the best federal and military cybersecurity practitioners and teams. DHS and the Department of Commerce will create a National Cybersecurity Workforce Consultative Process, in which stakeholders from the private and public sectors, from the federal level to local and tribal governments, academia, and others, will assess the cybersecurity workforce and make recommendations to strengthen its skill sets. DHS will further work with other departments to identify and mitigate federal and non-federal skill gaps specific to critical infrastructure and defense cybersecurity through development of appropriate training curricula. Finally, DHS will encourage the incorporation of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education to support training and workforce development around the country.