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In Search of More Than a Few Good Geeks

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity Division has multiplied its employees by six in the past two years, but the agency is still undermanned and is having an increasingly difficult time finding skilled professionals, says DHS deputy undersecretary Philip Reitinger.

In response, the government and industry organizations launched the U.S. Cyber Challenge, an effort to recruit and train 10,000 cybersecurity practitioners, researchers, and warriors. Universities from three states held cybersecurity boot camps this summer as part of the program, and the organizers plan to eventually expand to universities in all 50 states. Recently, four Washington, D.C.-area colleges held hacking competitions, while the Air Force Association is running its third CyberPatriot meet, which involves 300 high school teams from 45 states and Japan competing for a national title in network protection.

Reitinger says the various programs will help raise cybersecurity's profile and its appeal as a career. "Being geek has got to be cool," he says.

From Government Computer News
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