DHS to hire up to 1,000 cybersecurity experts

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to hire up to 1,000 people to fill cybersecurity jobs across the agency, Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Thursday.

The new positions, to be filled during the next three years, will involve roles in cyber-risk and analysis; incident response; vulnerability discovery and assessment; intelligence and investigation and systems engineering, said Napolitano, whose announcement coincided with the start of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

"Effective cybersecurity requires all partners -- individuals, communities, government entities and the private sector -- to work together to protect our networks and strengthen our cyber-resiliency," Napolitano said in a statement. "This new hiring authority will enable DHS to recruit the best cyberanalysts, developers and engineers in the world to serve their country by leading the nation's defenses against cyberthreats."

Tom Davis, a former Virginia congressman who now serves as director of federal government affairs for Deloitte, told SCMagazineUS.com on Thursday that the hirings show the government is taking cyberthreats seriously.

But he added that the government stands to spend a lot on salaries because the pool of qualified IT security workers is relatively small.

As a result, he said he hopes the announcement fuels interest among colleges and universities to offer courses in computer security, and among students to pursue careers in the discipline, both in the government and private sectors.

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