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Governments Need a Cyber Blueprint to Hire, Retain Cybersecurity Talent, Report Says

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Government agencies can recruit, hire and retain cybersecurity talent even faced with competition from the private sector if they figure out how to tackle their own cyber challenges, a new report from consultancy Info-Tech concludes.

Info-Tech’s newly published Addressing the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage in Government blueprint outlines an approach IT leaders can use to meet challenges governments face when attracting and recruiting cybersecurity professionals.

The resource also aims to help IT leaders and organizations navigate specific challenges. They include cyberattacks on governments, businesses and individuals that disrupt critical infrastructure and knock out essential services that people need in their daily lives.

New Attack Surfaces Identified

Info-Tech's researchers found that digital transformation is creating new attack surfaces, leading to the following obstacles:

  • Digital transformation in government involves the integration of new technologies, systems, and processes that lead to increased exposure to cyberthreats such as malware, ransomware, and other forms of cybercrime.
  • New challenges make it essential for government departments and agencies to foster a culture of cybersecurity awareness within their workforce through providing regular training and promoting a shared responsibility to maintain digital security.
  • The growing complexity of cyber threats necessitates a skilled cybersecurity workforce in government. However, a shortage of cybersecurity talent makes it challenging to effectively combat these threats and safeguard digital infrastructure.
  • To mitigate the risks of cyber threats, government departments and agencies must prioritize the creation of robust cybersecurity strategies, invest in employee training, and collaborate with external parties to enhance their cyber defense capabilities.

Paul Chernousov, research director at Info-Tech, said governments must take “proactive measures” to upgrade their cyber resilience:

"A common challenge is getting the entire organization on board with cybersecurity measures, resulting in an insufficient understanding of strategies and technology, as well as difficulty in maintaining a skilled and engaged workforce."

Guidance for Government

Info-Tech offered government departments and agencies what it’s calling the "three pillars for protection" to address the cybersecurity challenges caused by digital transformation:

  1. Every employee plays a crucial role in safeguarding the organization's digital assets. Fostering a culture of accountability and collaboration throughout the organization can create a shared responsibility for cybersecurity.
  2. A cybersecurity workforce development strategy ensures security, compliance and efficiency. Governments should implement a comprehensive cyber workforce strategy that includes acquiring individuals with the necessary skills and expertise and investing in innovative training programs and educational partnerships.
  3. Investing in advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning can help detect threats more quickly and accurately and even assist with recruitment.
D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.