Shortage of computer security experts hampers agencies

Monday, 14 June 2004, 1:05 PM EST

Bush administration officials and information technology industry experts on Thursday identified areas of cybersecurity that need to be addressed, including more research and development and the training of the next generation of cyber experts in government.

"There is an incredibly shrinking pool of IT security professionals in government," said Jack Johnson, chief security officer at the Homeland Security Department. "The bench is not just thin; the bench is non-existent," he added in a sports reference to backup players. "We need to train the next generation" of IT professionals.

Johnson said Homeland Security does not have the IT workforce to build the systems it needs and is "absolutely dependent" on help from the research and academic communities. The department contracts a lot of work outside government, he said, but there are a limited number of cleared contractors and high turnover of personnel.

By William New at GovExec.

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