[ISN] DHS’s Huge Cybersecurity Skills Shortage

http://www.govinfosecurity.com/dhss-huge-cybersecurity-skills-shortage-a-6080 By Eric Chabrow Gov Info Security September 20, 2013 More than one in five mission-critical cybersecurity-related jobs at a key Department of Homeland Security unit are vacant, the Government Accountability Office says. That’s a finding buried in a GAO report on how DHS could improve how it tracks recruiting costs. DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate’s Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, which houses much of the department’s cybersecurity personnel, had a vacancy rate of 22 percent as of June, according to a new GAO report, DHS Recruiting and Hiring. Why so many vacancies? DHS officials tell the GAO that they face some challenges because of the length of time to conduct security checks needed to grant clearances, low pay compared with private-sector positions and lack of clearly-defined skill sets for these positions. Each job in the federal government falls into an occupational series classification. Cybersecurity personnel are spread throughout a number of occupational series, with most categorized within the information technology series. […]