The Pentagon intends to add 4,000 troops and civilians to the U.S. Cyber Command, but finding the highly-skilled "hunters" and "tool builders" required to defend against cyberattacks is a tall order.
In addition to discovering cyberattacks, the advanced cyberpersonnel must be able to rapidly rewrite network defenses several times daily, says SANS Institute's Alan Paller.
Competition for this talent is intense because every essential area of the economy needs these skills, Paller notes. Further complicating the shortage for the Department of Defense is the need for its workers to be U.S. citizens who can obtain security clearances.
The Pentagon needs about 10,000 hunters and tool builders, and 2,000 are already in place, according to Paller. The Air Force also plans to hire a minimum of 1,000 cyberpersonnel over the next two years.
The military will provide training to develop personnel in existing mission areas and hire civilians only for some more specialized skill sets. Paller says that some of the best training in the country comes from the military, due to increasingly sophisticated programs at all three military academies.
Over the past four years, cadets and midshipmen have begun vying for entry into these programs.
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