US Needs to Train 100,000 Cybersecurity Experts by 2020

The blue chip Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity released a new report to President Obama that has some critical advice for the next president: you need to train 100,000 new cybersecurity experts by 2020 or suffer the consequences.

The “Report on Security and Growing the Digital Economy” points out in its Action Item 4.1.1:

The next President should initiate a national cybersecurity workforce program to train 100,000 new cybersecurity practitioners by 2020.

Why? In its executive summary, the authors point out:

Our commitment to cybersecurity must match our commitment to innovation. If our digital economy is to thrive, it must be secure. That means that every enterprise in our society—large and small companies, government at all levels, educational institutions, and individuals—must be more purposefully and effectively engaged in addressing cyber risks. They must also have greater accountability and responsibility for their own security, which, as we now know all too well, directly impacts the cybersecurity of our country.

The report comes on the heels of countless hacks of thousands of businesses, government agencies and database and email files, some of which may have affected the national election. Outside the United States, hackers recently took down some of the most critical databases in Saudi Arabia, including parts of government that oversee aviation and the databases of state-owned oil company Aramco.

There are worries that hackers could hurt the American economy by, among other things, taking down huge parts of the national electricity grid.

Among the difficulties that present themselves to address the problem is that the country has no coordinated way to train 100,000 people as the report exhorts. Does the government take on the task, or does private industry? Until that is decided, the advice means little.

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