The US government is looking to hire another 3,500 cybersecurity professionals by the end of this year, according to a report in ComputerWorld.com.
The feds are said to have already employed 3,000 since last October, when the government announced they wanted to recruit a total of 6,500 computer security professionals.
Tony Scott, federal chief information officer for the White House, said in a memo that “government departments and agencies face increasingly sophisticated and persistent cyber threats that pose strategic, economic, and security challenges”.
He added: “These cyber threats demonstrate the need for critical security tools, and equally as important, the need to employ the Federal civilian cybersecurity workforce with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to use those tools to enhance the security of the Federal digital infrastructure and improve the ability to detect and respond to cyber incidents when they occur.”
Scott said that the process of hiring is not as straightforward as it might be since there has been a skills shortage in the cybersecurity sector for some time.
“There simply is not a sufficient supply of cybersecurity talent to meet the increasing demand of the Federal Government,” said Scott in his memo.
“Recent industry reports project this shortfall will expand rapidly over the coming years unless companies and the Federal Government act to expand the cybersecurity workforce to meet the increasing demand for talent.”
The US central government is not the only organisation finding cybersecurity jobs difficult to fill. According to a report on PeninsulaPress.com, more than 200,000 cybersecurity jobs in the US remain unfilled, and vacancies have increased more than 70 per cent over the past five years.
According to Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec, the IT industry needs to fill 4.5 million cybersecurity jobs by the end of the decade.
“The demand for the [cybersecurity] workforce is expected to rise to 6 million [globally] by 2019, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million,” said Brown, according to a report on CSOOnline.com.