The U.S. needs cyberwarriors

The U.S. has a shortage of cyberwarriors -- those who can find flaws in systems before those with ill intent find them.

If you're looking for an interesting field to get into that has some job openings, you might want to consider cybersecurity. Last week, NPR's Tom Gjelten reported on the shortage of cyber technicians and engineers.

According to Jim Gosler, CIA, a veteran of CIA, the National Security Agency, and who is currently working for the Energy Department, there are currently only about 1,000 people in the U.S. with the skills needed for frontline cyberdefense and that 20 or 30 times that amount are needed.

A report soon to come from The Center for Strategic and International Studies says the shortage is now desperate, with the United States losing ground to China.

To answer the need, officials are looking in a couple of places. First, they're turning their eyes toward cybercriminals. After all, who better to find flaws in your system than someone who can hack it?

Second, some members of Congress are promoting a U.S. Cyber Challenge, a national talent search to find up to 10,000 potential cyber warriors, ready to play both offense and defense. This would entail schools around the country to create technical teams that would compete against one another on being able to hack into other systems.

Makes sense. If you want to know where your vulnerabilities are, tap those who are the best at finding them through the same means as terrorists would.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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