CyberMaryland 2016 Underscores the Need to Tap into Top Tech Talent

October 31st, 2016 by Alexandra Podolny

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By Jason Greene, CHHS Extern

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has dubbed The Old Line State as the nation’s cyber security capital, and for good reason.

Maryland is home to government agencies such as the National Security Agency, US Cyber Command, Defense Information Systems Agency, and National Institute of Standards & Technology, as well as over a dozen of the nation’s most prominent cyber security companies, to include Lockheed Martin, ZeroFox, KEYWCorporation, Tenable Network Security, and RedOwl.

And let’s not forget the numerous top-ranked cybersecurity academic programs in the University System of Maryland, US Naval Academy, and leading research and development facilities such as the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab and Institute for Defense Analyses Center for Computing Sciences.

So it is fitting that last month Maryland was host to one of the nation’s most prominent cybersecurity conferences, CyberMaryland.

The two-day conference took place in the Baltimore Hilton Hotel, which brought together cybersecurity professionals from across the country and around the world, featured over 30 panels, keynote speakers, and a job fair.

Keynote speaker Admiral Rogers, the dual-hatted Commander of US Cyber Command and Director National Security admiral-cybermd-2016Agency/Central Security Service, asserted the greatest challenge in cybersecurity is that both government and private industry are competing for the same workforce.

“It’s not the technology, it’s the human capital,” said Rogers. “As important as the technology is, don’t forget about the importance of motivated men and women. Without them you don’t have the edge we need.”

The comments resonated with the audience, as those in the profession are acutely aware of growing demand for cyber security talent.

NSA and US Cyber Command have doubled down on their outreach efforts, according to Rogers, investing heavily in intern programs that typically lead to full time employment.

The admiral recounted a story from his first couple of weeks on the job where he ran into a couple of sixteen year olds in the hallway at the NSA campus on Fort Meade; he wondered aloud to one of his staff about how the government grants security clearances to high school students. The lesson for Rogers was clear—recruitment and professional development for top cyber talent must begin early to maintain a competitive advantage.

Beyond the NSA and US Cyber Command, Admiral Rogers remarked how cyber security education is now mandatory for all US Naval Academy graduates, which now directly commissions officers into cyber career fields.

In Maryland, Baltimore-based Robert Half Technology expects an increased demand for cybersecurity jobs in 2017, with salaries expected to increase between 4 and 6 percent to fill the 11,000 cybersecurity job openings in the state. For the most common cyber jobs, those salaries will range from $93,000 to over $190,000.

Cybersecurity is a hot career field for younger generations with 30-40% of millenials expected to choose a job in the sector; however, jobs are proving hard to fill because of a lack of skilled workers.

One way for new cybersecurity professionals to overcome this hurdle is through credentialing.

There are a variety of programs sponsored through professional organizations, such as the International Information System Security Certification Consortium’s (ISC)² Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certificate or the International Association of Privacy Professional’s (IAPP) Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) certificates.

Another way to obtain a credential is through an academic institution. For example, familiarity with legal and policy issues, and the ability to address these issues, is becoming ever more critical for the future of cybersecurity.

markuscybermd2016-panel

Photo: Markus Rauschecker, Cybersecurity Program Manager at the Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) and Adjunct Faculty at University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (pictured far right), discusses why developing a well-rounded cyber workforce of technical and non-technical professionals is critical.

To help solve this problem Maryland’s Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) is delivering groundbreaking cybersecurity education through the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. The Center offers multiple Crisis Management and Cybersecurity specialization programs, to include a JD certificate, LLM, and masters programs.

 

For more information please contact CHHS Academic Program Manager Michael Vesely at 410-706-2161.

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