Governments Worldwide Struggle with Cyber Security Staff

Susan Hall

The difficulty in hiring and retaining highly skilled cyber security pros isn't limited to the U.S. government. Reuters reports it's a problem for countries around the world and government agencies at all levels.


It says governments have been recruiting hard through competitions, universities and sometimes social-media sites, though the U.S. government reportedly doesn't hire entry-level workers for this.


In a special report last week, Reuters reported that many experts in the field believe China has gained the upper hand in cyber espionage.


According to the story on cyber security staffing:

In an era of heightened confrontation and technical advances, retention is a challenge. Skilled specialists can burn out, be poached by the private sector or can be tempted by criminal or anti-establishment causes. Many of the best may have difficult, sometimes eccentric personalities.

And there's just too few of them. The story points to partnerships with the private sector, as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is doing, as really the only way to gain capability fast enough.


It quotes John Bassett, associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London and a former senior official at Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, saying:

Given the nature of hackers, it's going to be like herding cats. You might be able to give them some money or tools which they would find interesting and keep them pointing in a certain direction for a certain period of time. But whether that would then give them any residual loyalty is a very open question.

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Apr 21, 2011 10:08 AM user1469877 user1469877  says:


As a 30 year old military veteran and someone who joined to get an education, I have found this article to hit close to home. I graduated from a NSA National Centers of Academic Excellence college and there was no way to land a job. I gained in my time learning much of the knowledge to be a network or security engineer and there were no takes. I had individuals in good positions (Doctors and mid level government worker freind) look over it and nothing happened. Maybe it was because of the lack of certs I do not know. Oh well...I settled for a job at a logistics firm.

Apr 21, 2011 11:27 AM Susan Hall Susan Hall  says: in response to user1469877

Perhaps you just need some experience under your belt. Get some in the private sector and keep applying. The need will still be there. Good luck!


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