The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has ramped up its efforts to deepen its cybersecurity talent pool with the launch of a Cybersecurity Talent Management System.
The system, according to a post on the agency’s website, is aimed at modernizing federal hiring through streamlining the process.
Current openings are focused on the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and DHS’ Office of the Chief Information Officer.
“The DHS Cybersecurity Talent Management System fundamentally re-imagines how the Department hires, develops and retains top-tier and diverse cybersecurity talent,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas in a statement.
WHY IT MATTERS
According to the agency, the new personnel system is intended to more effectively recruit cybersecurity workers.
With the system’s launch, the agency is also creating a new type of federal civil service position, said a rule posted to the Federal Register earlier this year that went into effect Monday.
“The cadre of those positions and the individuals appointed to them is called the DHS Cybersecurity Service,” the rule explained.
That service will be “the nation’s preeminent federal cybersecurity team working to protect U.S. critical infrastructure and the American people from cybersecurity threats, and increase nationwide resilience,” said a press release.
The agency noted that the system represents a shift from traditional hiring and compensation practices for federal civil service employees.
Instead, it is designed to respond to changes in the cybersecurity industry and environment.
The compensation also appears to be competitive.
Some positions could be paid at the rate of Vice President Kamala Harris’ salary: $235,100 a year. Others could go even higher, likely an attempt to attract individuals used to making Silicon Valley rates.
THE LARGER TREND
The announcement represents continued attempts by the federal government to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity response, especially where critical infrastructure facilities such as hospitals are concerned.
This past month, CISA issued a $2 million award – the first of its kind – to two organizations developing cyber workforce training programs, in an effort to address the countrywide employee shortage. For its part, Microsoft has also launched a campaign to promote cyber training.
Meanwhile, ransomware attacks, including those linked to nation-states, have continued to target hospitals and health systems amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
ON THE RECORD
“As our nation continues to face an evolving threat landscape, we cannot rely only on traditional hiring tools to fill mission-critical vacancies,” said Mayorkas. “This new system will enable our department to better compete for cybersecurity professionals and remain agile enough to meet the demands of our critical cybersecurity mission.”
Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.
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