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Cybersecurity's HR Problem

Congressman James Langevin visits three Rhode Island high schools this morning to highlight the High School Cyber Challenge, aimed at boosting the nation's skills in cybersecurity.

This fall, students from the three high schools - Warwick Career and Technical Center, the Cranston Area Career and Technical Center, and Exeter West Greenwich High School - piloted the program, which will be formally launched in Rhode Island, Maryland, and California come February.

The country has all manner of vulnerabilities when it comes to cybersecurity - many of which I laid out in this piece in September - but among them is a human resources challenge. A couple of years ago, Jim Gosler, the first director of the Clandestine Information Technology Office at the CIA said “the US has no more than 1,000 people with the advanced security skills to compete in cyberspace at world class levels – we need 20,000 to 30,000.”

With the Pentagon under daily attack in cyberspace and multi-million dollar theft and corporate espionage a major threat to the US economy, the field of cybersecurity - according to a recent report out of the Center for Strategic & International Studies - remains a sort of catch-as-catch-can endeavor:

In many ways, cybersecurity is similar to...19th century medicine--a growing field dealing with real threats with lots of self-taught practitioners only some of whom know what they are doing.

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