US Federal Agencies Fail to Recruit, Retain Qualified Cybersecurity Staff

The US federal government still suffers from a major shortfall in recruiting enough technically qualified staff to carry out adequate cybersecurity functions, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report.
“Federal agencies continue to be challenged in recruiting and retaining qualified cybersecurity staff,” the report stated on Tuesday. “[I]n August 2016, GAO reported that federal chief information security officers faced significant challenges in recruiting and retaining personnel with high-demand skills.”

Also, despite six years of critical GAO reports documenting the problem, federal agencies continue to face challenges in effectively implementing workforce planning processes for information technology (IT) and defining cybersecurity staffing needs, the report acknowledged.

“Shortages in qualified cybersecurity professionals have been identified, which can hinder the government’s ability to ensure an effective workforce,” the GAO said.

The GAO also reported that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) needed to improve its efforts to close government-wide skills gaps.


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