Just like its private sector counterparts, the government is currently facing a serious shortage of cybersecurity workers. Experts estimate that more than 300,000 professionals are needed to maintain and manage business systems. With hacker attacks at every turn, this staggering statistic is still on the rise.
A number of factors contribute to the shortage of professionals in the government arena, including lack of adequate compensation and the poaching of individuals between agencies. A collaborative effort, seed-funded by the Department of Homeland Security, however, may help close the gap.
Monster Government Solutions and The U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC), a nonprofit established to foster development of cybersecurity skills and help the government meet its goal of adding 10,000 new employees, have joined forces to create a social networking site called CyberCompEx. The site is currently in development and is set to launch its beta version sometime in March.
Combining the best attributes of sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, the goal of the CyberCompEx project is to increase the national pool of cybersecurity professionals—in and out of government. Developers of the site aim to create a community of like-minded individuals (e.g. students, professionals, and employers) who can exchange information and share a common interest in cybersecurity. The site will start as a social-networking site but will grow to become a central, secure repository for resumes, profiles and interactions between cybersecurity professionals and prospective employers, fed primarily by participants in the Cyber Challenge camps.
CyberCompEx members will have access to the tools and skills they need to secure cybersecurity jobs. In addition to resumes and other applicant information, each member’s technical skills and capabilities will be vetted and verified. Members’ participation in national cybersecurity competitions will be highlighted, and future upgrades to the site will allow such competitions to take place online within the CyberCompEx portal.
Unlike traditional job-related websites, CyberCompEx will provide a one-stop shop where employers can interact securely with pre-qualified cybersecurity professionals and match them to available jobs based on the specific skillsets necessary to fill those jobs.
“The idea is to find those people and start them on the pathway so that they can become cybersecurity professionals,” says Karen Evans, Cyber Challenge national director. “If you talk to the competitors … they’re always asking, ‘This is great but what’s next?’ That’s where CyberCompEx is going to fill that void.”
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