“To fill key cybersecurity positions, agencies and industry are trading employees like professional sports teams trade players.
“But over time the idea of stealing each other’s workforce doesn’t address the short or long-term needs for a skilled cyber workforce.
“‘It’s a good thing to have that interchange between government and industry, but in the end it’s a zero sum game,’ said Phil Reitinger, the Homeland Security Department’s the under secretary of the National Programs and Protections Directorate (NPPD). ‘There aren’t enough to go around. We have 220 people now, but we will need a heck of a lot more people in the future, and we know others like DoD are hiring. We just don’t have enough of those people yet. So we absolutely have to build that end-to-end ecosystem.’
“Reitinger pointed to a recent example of this interchange. DHS brought in Bobbie Stempfley to be the director of the DHS National Cyber Security Division, while Mischel Kwon left DHS to work for RSA, the security division of EMC.”
“The confrontation between President Hamid Karzai and the NATO coalition over the fate of private security companies accelerated Monday as Karzai lashed out again about the damaging role the guards play in Afghanistan.
“Karzai has come under intense pressure to back down from his intention to bar private guards from protecting development projects in Afghanistan, including a call from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, as U.S. officials have warned that the ban could shut down billions of dollars in programs and put thousands of Afghans out of work.
“Behind the scenes, foreign diplomats have been working furiously to forge some face-saving compromise that would allow Karzai to phase out the private security companies over time while not jeopardizing a key component of NATO’s counterinsurgency strategy.”
“In a town that has become accustom to long and tangled appointments, this one may go down in the books, but it is officially official this morning: Defense Secretary Robert Gates named Teri Takai to be the Defense Department’s chief information officer, ostensibly replacing John Grimes, who retired in April 2009. Takai will start her new job on Nov. 7.
“Takai is widely respected in the state CIO community having served most recently as the CIO for the state of California, where she carried out an enormous consolidation of the state’s data centers. Before that, Takai was the Michigan CIO.
“She was first rumored for the DOD CIO post back in February and then officially nominated in March, but that nomination was waylayed – and eventually withdrawn – as Defense officials reinvented the position.
“As National Cybersecurity Awareness Month comes to a close, the talk on Capitol Hill is once again turning to the consideration and passage of comprehensive legislation to beef up cybersecurity. With Congress slated to return for a lame duck session two weeks after next Tuesday’s elections, what are the chances for a cybersecurity bill to be approved before the books close on the 111th Congress in December?
“Louis Tucker, Republican staff director with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during a panel discussion on cybersecurity legislation sponsored by the Heritage Foundation Tuesday.
“Tucker came to stump on behalf of a cybersecurity bill promoted by Sens. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), called the National Cyberinfrastructure Protection Act of 2010.
“Though this cybersecurity bill is not the measure that enjoys the most support in the Senate, Tucker said it is superior to other legislation now under consideration.”