Cyber warriors fought between the government and the security industry

Pierluigi Paganini April 17, 2014

The demand for cyber security experts continues to raise, the US Government announced further investment to recruit new cyber talents with many difficulties.

Cyber security is officially one of the first targets of every government, many countries announced huge investments to improve their cyber capabilities, a great effort that is having a significant impact on budgets and politics.

The Military Cyber Spending reserved by the Pentagon for cyber operations next year is $5 Billion, part of the comprehensive $496 billion fiscal 2015 budget, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently announced that US Army plans to triple its cybersecurity staff by 2016.

“A fund spending within the $5.1 billion Military Cyber Spending will be reserved for cyber operations to go toward the continued development of 133 special cyber mission teams. A critical goal, of course, is the improvement on defense for critical infrastructure against internet-based attacks, The Pentagon has estimated that the number of cyber mission team staffers in place by 2016 will reach 6,000 units, including 13 national mission teams with eight national support teams.” I’ve written in a previous article.

Not only Information Warfare, one of the primary goal is the fight to the cybercrime, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Charles Gilgen announced that his agency’s cyber division plans to hire 1,000 agents and 1,000 analysts in the coming twelve months.

The overall number of cyber experts that will be recruited in the next two years is 6,000 people, and to mitigate the shortage of experts the government is also trying to sustain training programs starting from the universities.  A Government program started in 2000, codenamed CyberCorps, promotes a series of activities to develop cyber security capabilities within the schools.

Participants must be US citizens and could receive a cash stipend up to $30,000 a year, “depending on whether the student is pursuing a bachelor’s, a master’s, or a doctorate“, once completed their studies the youngsters serve in Government for the same length of time as they received funding.

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Despite all these initiatives, the  US Government has to face with another serious problem, the migration of highest cyber skills from government agencies to private industries, the talents are of course attracted by higher earnings in the private sector.

“If you couldn’t break $100,000 as a starting salary, I think you’d have trouble attracting those guys,” said Golden Richard, a professor with the University of New Orleans Information Assurance Program.

The young cyber experts prepared thanks to government programs are immediately recruited by private industry that is willing to spend that much more enticing figures for specific knowledge in cyber security.

The cyber shortage is also responsible for massive recruitment of contractors in the cyber security sector and Intelligence, but the downside is the increased risks related to the possible disclosure of sensitive or classified material. The Snowden‘s case has shocked the world Snowden, seriously injuring the U.S. Intelligence structure, its impact has led and will lead to a revolution in US Intelligence.

Snowden‘s revelations are the causes of a dangerous disaffection in a machine responsible for the Homeland Security, many students have argued their grip away from their training programs citing the case of the popular whistleblower.

Get ready, probably the cyber security landscape is set to change profoundly in the next two years and opportunity for all the professionals like me that “live for security”.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  Security,  Intelligence)

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