WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Chairman Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) delivered the following opening remarks during a hearing on growing the national cybersecurity workforce.
As prepared for delivery:
Thank you all for joining us today for a discussion on my biggest priority as Chairman of this subcommittee—addressing the cybersecurity workforce shortage.
Over the last several months, this Subcommittee has taken a broad look at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA’s, development since 2018 and its increasingly important role in mitigating risk across federal networks and critical infrastructure. But in order for CISA, and any public or private entity for that matter, to be successful in executing its important mission, it must have a robust cybersecurity workforce.
Some estimates say that the United States currently has more than 755,000 cyber job openings nationally. In addition to the overall shortage of cyber professionals, 61 percent of those who are employed say they are burned out after triaging years of major cyber incidents. Research from ISACA, a notable nonprofit organization that conducts an annual study of the state of the cyber workforce, shows that 54 percent of government and military stakeholders believe a lack of skills and training are the top obstacle for attaining digital trust in an organization.
I have said it before and I will reemphasize my belief that we need not only enough people but the right people with the right skills, in the right jobs to meet the growing cyber threat.
In April, the FBI Director testified to Congress that even if all FBI cyber agents and intel analysts focused on the China threat, Chinese hackers would still outnumber our FBI cyber personnel at least 50 to 1. That is extremely concerning.
It is clear that the shortage of talent and burnout are issues that both the public and private sector face, therefore, it is an issue we must tackle together. Our nation’s cyber workforce challenges are widespread and must be addressed through a strategic and crosscutting approach that avoids duplication. It is important for Congress to evaluate the appropriate roles and responsibilities for federal agencies and the private sector to develop the cyber workforce.
I’m pleased to welcome four expert witnesses who can shed light on private sector efforts to move the needle forward. I hope to hear about what cyber workforce initiatives are successfully developing private sector talent, and where improvements could be made. I’m specifically interested in hearing about creative models of education and training, like apprenticeships and community college programs, and also about some of the efforts to quantify the challenges we face and provide scalable solutions.
These creative models, from our witnesses and other leaders in the field, will be key as we see increased demand for skillsets in emerging technology such as AI. I encourage CISA to leverage the innovative initiatives of the private sector to grow the national cyber workforce at all levels via both traditional and non-traditional pathways.
This hearing will be a starting point for our Subcommittee to evaluate the current state of the national cybersecurity workforce and discuss solutions. As we anticipate the Office of the National Cyber Director’s National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy, I hope to tease out specific areas where Congress can complement and build upon existing lines of effort across the federal government.
I look forward to addressing this challenge in a bipartisan manner with my colleagues across the aisle. Thank you all again for being here today and thank you for being great partners to the government in this endeavor.