IT professionals and policy makers often don’t speak the same language when it comes to cybersecurity. Gregory Michaelidis, TechRepublic contributor and cybersecurity fellow at New America, advises how IT professionals and policy makers can work together to “solve the cybersecurity puzzle.”

Michaelidis compares this disconnect to one between a science and a literature professor at the same university. Though they teach at the same place, the way they teach and the way they measure success differs.

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Generally, tech professionals are known to move quickly, and like disruption and innovation, whereas policy makers tend to move at a slower pace and speak in more legalistic terms. Michaelidis suggests that people in the cybersecurity community to attend a Hill Day in Washington, or talk with state and local representatives. “It can really give you a sense of what the staff who deals with us are wrestling with on a given day,” Michaelidis said.

Or check out sources online such as New America or CSIS to watch policy discussions, and get a sense of what issues policy makers deal with, and how that differs from the issues IT people deal with.

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Conversely, he suggests for policy makers to get out of D.C. and meet with officials in state and local government and law enforcement. “I think a lot of the effort now in cybersecurity is going to be taking place at the municipal level, as well where they are dealing with a lot of the same problems, but not as many of the resources,” he said.

They can even take a look at community colleges where the training and certifications for technologists takes place, or in high-tech incubators to see young professionals working on start-ups, solving practical problems, and coding to understand the type of problems they face. “Those are all kinds of things that the Washington and policy crowd would benefit from.”

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