From Homework to Hacking: Recruiting Young Cyber Experts

From Homework to Hacking: Recruiting Young Cyber Experts

In an increasingly cyber world, what is the greatest long-term challenge? A threat to our Government in cybersecurity is not having enough qualified personnel to defend our nation’s critical infrastructure, databases, and computers systems. How can we strengthen our nation's long term security in the present? The answer can be found in an unlikely place…a high school classroom.

DHS has begun to target young adults to find the estimated 600 cybersecurity experts and 'defensive hackers' it needs to play defense against a growing aggressive hacking 'offense.' Department of Homeland Secuirty (DHS) Secretary Napolitano convened the Homeland Security Advisory Council's Task Force on CyberSkills to study how to best engage students. Here are some programs DHS is using to target students:

  • Secretary’s Honors Program (SHP) Cyber Student Initiative – community college students and student veterans develop their computer forensics skills by working at ICE's Homeland Security Investigations lab
  • National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education – a DHS and National Security Agency (NDA) program partnering with universities to educate students with real world cyber skills
  • Scholarship for Service Program (SFS) – grants students scholarships to study information assurance at universities and colleges partnering with DHS and commit to government service
  • US Cyber Challenge (USCC) – a DHS-sponsored program designed to give students access to exciting cybersecurity training; aims to bring 10,000 qualified personnel to the cyber workforce
  • Cyber Cup Challenge/Net Wars – examples of state led cyber competitions designed to make cybersecurity training feel like a video game and engage high school students

Programs like these should be a priority to plan for a secure future. The U.S. needs to catch up to countries like China that are teaching cyber skills in schools, or we will be left defenseless against future hackers. DHS faces competition for qualified students from tech start-up companies offering more money and benefits and competition from other government agencies with a history of recruiting emerging cyber talent.

Creating enthusiasm around cybersecurity and increasing the incentives to serve our government will strengthen our nation's resiliency. 

Contributors

* Arc Aspicio |

Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

Lynn Ann Casey / Chief Executive Officer
info@arcaspicio.com
703.465.2060

Mr. Roboto: Your Newest Coworker

Mr. Roboto: Your Newest Coworker

Could your next cubemate be a robot? Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX founder, is building our future coworkers and forming a world filled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that could “beat us in just about everything,” including our jobs. As Musk attempts to create a real-life iRobot, many advantages and a possible partnership arise with this future. How can the Government and Homeland Security prepare and welcome new technological advancements?

Data + Strategy: Using Data to Inform Agency Strategy

Data + Strategy: Using Data to Inform Agency Strategy

Understanding the types of data available, gaining access to the right data, and making sense of data are daunting tasks for most organizations as they develop a strategy to meet mission demands and enterprise-wide goals. Data is especially challenging for the Government, yet provides the opportunity for insight for leaders as they strategically move their agencies forward.

Workplace Morale is Going to the Dogs… Literally!

Workplace Morale is Going to the Dogs… Literally!

There are few greater feelings than a dog’s unconditional love. And some are finding that a dog’s love can help combat stress at work. Secretary Zinke of the Interior Department announced his intent for "Doggy Days" where he encouraged employees to bring their canine companions to work on designated days. More than 80 dogs arrived for first event and the overjoyed employees immediately scheduled the next.

Accelerating FITARA Compliance: Five Steps That Leaders Can Take Today

Accelerating FITARA Compliance: Five Steps That Leaders Can Take Today

Implementing change is not always easy, but it is always necessary. Federal agencies have been working to transform how they acquire and manage Federal information technology (IT). The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) in December 2014 has increased visibility into this transformation.Although FITARA enhances the authority and accountability of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in reviewing and approving major IT investment projects, CIOs continue to look for new ways to implement best practices at their agencies.

Combating the Rise of Transnational Criminal Organizations

Combating the Rise of Transnational Criminal Organizations

Crime, corruption, and violence – particularly involving drug, human, and weapons trafficking – continue to increase at an alarming rate in the U.S. Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) are a critical part of this trend and pose a serious and growing threat to homeland security – at our borders and beyond.U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is at the tip of the spear to combat TCOs. With the context that the first goal in their Vision and Strategy 2020 Strategic Plan is Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime, CBP is focusing on disrupting TCOs responsible for the cross-border trafficking of illegal drugs, humans, and guns.

Design Thinking: Putting the Citizen at the Heart of Lasting Change

Design Thinking: Putting the Citizen at the Heart of Lasting Change

For the past few decades, there has been a growing increase in the digital channels available to network with the Federal government. These channels have made it easier for the public to interact and elicit responses from elected officials.These growing interactions have increased expectations for Government to be more transparent and collaborative. From the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Department of State (DOS), Design Thinking transformations have begun to develop and modernize programs to be more human-centered. Agencies and programs beholden to serve the public good should logically adopt a problem-solving mindset that places the individual at the heart of any lasting changes.

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Mission Outcomes

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Mission Outcomes

Although behavioral science has been studied and applied within academia for decades, recently the concept has emerged everywhere – from Silicon Valley tech giants such as Google and Uber, to various Government agencies including the Department of Education, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Agriculture.But defining and applying such a broad and sometimes-nebulous discipline can prove difficult. What exactly is behavioral science? How can the Government use the concepts and lessons learned effectively?

Crowdsourcing to Improve Security

Crowdsourcing to Improve Security

Many of us are familiar with the idea of crowdsourcing. Corporations and the Government both use crowdsourcing to generate data, raise awareness campaigns, and produce ideas. So, what if we used crowdsourcing to enhance our security and bridge communication gaps between the Government and American citizens at the same time?

Homeland Security Managers = Innovative Leaders

Homeland Security Managers = Innovative Leaders

The search for and implementation of innovative methods to protect the homeland should play an important role in homeland security managers’ approach to how they guide their organizations. Citizens expect government leaders to propose and implement organizational, acquisition, and personnel management practices that enhance our nation’s ability to prepare for and mitigate potential threats. They expect these to make them safer and the nation more secure.