White House seeks advice on cyber workforce development – FCW.com

President BIden hosts an August 2021 meeting on cybersecurity in the East Room of the White House Drew Angerer/Getty Images
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By Natalie Alms
The White House-based Office of the National Cyber Director is looking for input on its forthcoming cybersecurity workforce, training and education strategy in a new request for information released Monday.
Chris Inglis, the national cyber director, announced the forthcoming strategy at a cyber workforce summit hosted by the White House last summer. 
Camille Stewart Gloster, deputy national cyber director for technology and ecosystem security, told FCW last month that the strategy will clarify roles among government actors, pinpoint metrics to measure the problem as well as how current efforts are working. It will look beyond the federal government’s own cyber workforce to the country writ large.
One focus appears to be increasing the diversity of the field in order to fill the gaping cyber workforce shortage of over 714,000, according to Cyberseek, a tracker backed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
“While the cyber workforce deficit constitutes a near- and long-term threat to our national and economic security, it also represents a significant opportunity to employ a more diverse and inclusive workforce in good-paying jobs that offer strong career possibilities,” wrote Stewart Gloster in an Oct. 3 blog post about the RFI.
“To help close this gap and maximize cyber-related employment opportunities, we need to ensure that cybersecurity training, education, and career pathways are available to everyone in our society with the passion and potential to do the work,” she continued.
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The RFI itself also stresses the ONCD’s intent to ensure that individuals using the digital ecosystem are more educated about cybersecurity even if they aren’t working in cybersecurity roles.
In terms of the cyber workforce specifically, the office asks for input on recruiting and hiring a diverse pool of workers – a topic that includes an array of specific questions and problem areas like expanding entry-level pathways into the profession. The RFI also has sections on career development and retention.
ONCD will be accepting input on the RFI through Nov. 3. After that, the office will host virtual sessions with RFI respondents they select through a “virtual reverse stakeholder day” event to “provide the government with the opportunity to engage in dialogue directly and individually with selected RFI respondents to ask clarifying questions about their submitted RFI responses.”
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