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US govt lacks tech talent for cyber defense?

world Updated: Jul 23, 2009 11:53 IST

Bureaucracy and a shortage of employees with technology prowess have left the US government without the talent it needs to defend against cyber attacks, a study warned on Wednesday.

“The results of this research are troubling and, in many ways, familiar,” said the authors of the report, which is intended to check the status of the federal cybersecurity workforce.

“The overriding finding of our analysis is that our federal government will be unable to combat these threats without a more coordinated, sustained effort to increase cybersecurity expertise in the federal workforce.”

The “pipeline of potential new talent” are inadequate, while complicated processes and rules hamper efforts to recruit and retain federal workers with needed technology skills for cybersecurity, according to the study, titled “Cyber IN-Security.”

It also found that there are conflicting views inside government regarding what technology talents are sought in new hires.

The study surveyed 18 federal agencies and experts both inside and outside government, said the Partnership for Public Service, a non-profit group based in Washington that authored the study with consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.

“Numerous factors hamper government’s ability to build a top-notch cybersecurity workforce, making it difficult to fill critical talent gaps,” the study concluded.

US leaders, it suggested, need to vastly improve the way government hires, manages, and cultivates employees with technology talent.

Congress and the White House should also promote and support students learning math and science skills to bolster the future pool of cyber security workers, the study concluded.