DOD Worries Cyber Workers Are Undertrained, Unprepared
February 18, 2013 1:26 PM
DOD is currently rewriting its cyber workforce policy
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is rewriting its
cyber workforce policy
and reviewing current qualifications because it worries that too many cyber experts are underqualified or unprepared for such positions at DOD.
DOD wants to go on a hiring spree of capable cyber experts, but current certifications/qualifications necessary to work for DOD may not be enough to prepare these experts for the job ahead of them.
"One of the biggest threats to the DOD networks is the inability of DOD security professionals to secure the networks," a U.S. Army chief warrant officer assigned to U.S. Army Cyber said. "Many of these security professionals have the required certifications but no understanding how to truly secure the DOD networks and make poor decisions resulting in vulnerable networks."
One main issue is that these experts are merely required to do a lot of book training rather than hands-on training.
"The current requirements aren't turning out people who are prepared," said Jeff Moulton, a senior cyber researcher at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. "The school of hard knocks can teach quite a few lessons, but at DoD that can cost people's lives. Book training is simply not enough."
Another U.S. Army major said that one certification is not enough for an intrusion analyst, infrastructure support, incident responder, auditor and manager because these are five different professions with five completely different skill sets.
The current requirements for cyber security workers was put in place in August 2004 under DOD Directive 8570. It could use an update, especially considering technology and security measures have changed significantly since that time. And the problem is that technology changes so often that it's difficult for DOD to keep up.
"We're rewriting essentially all of the cyber workforce policy, so we are going to have an overarching cyber workforce policy that will include all of the cyber skills including cyber defenders, cyber attackers, malware analysts, all that stuff," said Richard Hale, Deputy Chief Information Officer for DOD Cybersecurity. "Then we will rewrite specific manuals underneath each."
Last month, the Pentagon said it planned to
boost its cyber security unit
five-fold from 900 trips to about 4,900 over the next several years.
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