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Executive Order Directs DHS, Other Agencies to Strengthen Cyber Workforce; Kevin McAleenan Quoted

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President Trump signed an executive order Thursday requiring the federal government to implement measures to build up the country’s cybersecurity workforce. The EO directs the Department of Homeland Security to establish the Federal Cybersecurity Rotational Program that would allow government cyber and information technology professionals to work at DHS through temporary assignments to facilitate knowledge sharing, DHS said Thursday.

U.S. cyber practitioners “constitute a core element in our country’s frontline defense, and we must urgently bolster them in the face of a myriad of cybersecurity threats,†said Acting Secretary and a 2019 Wash100 recipient Kevin McAleenan. “The president’s action today sets the course to expand and sustain the workforce and ensure America keeps its competitive edge in the critical field of cybersecurity.â€Â 

The new policy calls for DHS to collaborate with other agencies to create a list of aptitude assessments to identify current personnel who have the potential to perform cyber and IT work, develop a plan for the annual President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition, help create a national consultative process to evaluate the cyber workforce and offer recommendations to build up skill sets and assist in the integration of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education Cybersecurity Workforce Framework in workforce development and training programs.