On June 22, 2023, ISC2 was invited to testify at the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection. Discussing “Growing the National Cybersecurity Talent Pipeline,” Tara Wisniewski, ISC2 Executive Vice President Advocacy, Global Markets and Member Engagement joined Anjelica Dortch, Senior Director, U.S. Government Affairs, SAP America, Inc., Will Markow, Vice President of Applied Research, Lightcast and Col. Chris Starling, Executive Director, NPower, were invited to speak on the current state of the cybersecurity workforce and opportunities for working together to create a strong and secure national and global cyber ecosystem built on partnership, communication, responsible action, and technological development.
“One of our nation’s foremost challenges is defending America’s critical infrastructure and federal networks from malicious cyber actors, and at the forefront of this defense is a dedicated and talented team of cybersecurity experts,” Chairman Garbarino said in a media advisory earlier this week.
ISC2 advocacy has been working with public and private sector entities across the globe to bring awareness to the importance of cyber resilience and building common solutions for cybersecurity workforce issues including:
- Making cybersecurity education and jobs more accessible in all parts of the United States.
- Increasing diversity across the cybersecurity profession.
- Encouraging collaboration and cross-border harmonization of standards and regulations.
- Professionalizing the sector to ensure there is a clear and understandable career path for professionals interested in joining the field.
ISC2 took this hearing as an opportunity to discuss our extensive research into the cybersecurity profession and our innovative ideas at growing and securing the U.S. cybersecurity talent pipeline and ensuring more people from more diverse backgrounds can access tools necessary to enter the profession. Detailing that increasing the workforce with skilled, certified professionals is essential to decreasing the skills gap and improving the security surrounding the nation’s data and critical infrastructure, a priority of the federal government as well as ISC2.
Our world is becoming increasingly more reliant on digital infrastructure. With that, the potential for cyberattacks grows and businesses and data must be protected. In the U.S. in 2022, we estimated the cyber workforce gap had around 410,695 unfilled roles. This reliance increases vulnerability for businesses and data and puts additional stress on an already stretched thin workforce.
Our advocacy team has been engaging with lawmakers at all levels of government to find solutions to better the entire cyber ecosystem. Encouraging collaboration and innovation to find multi-pronged solutions to this complex problem. From creating an entry-level cybersecurity certification in Certified in Cybersecurity (CC), to the ISC2 Professional Development Institute, our organization is working to do our part to create a diverse talent pipeline through education, upskilling, re-skilling, and professional development.
Our research has given us incredible insight into both the challenges of information security but has also provided us opportunity to seek innovative ideas to bring new, diverse talent into the sector, upskill existing talent, provide professional development like CPE credits, certifications, and more. We also get a glimpse at how the workforce is adapting to the current trends and climate and how the changing face of the workforce is affecting the development of the sector. Through sharing our data, research, and ideas with members of the U.S. Congress and other lawmakers and allies, we hope to forge new partnerships and encourage global cooperation on these important issues. Working toward expanding access to the cybersecurity profession, setting reasonable, consistent, concise and effective standards that include certification requirements, and collaborating to finding solutions that bring new, diverse talent into the sector, create opportunities for entry-and-junior-level talent and provide opportunities for growth and advancement for a more safe and secure cyber world.
View the entire subcommittee hearing on the Homeland Security Committee’s YouTube channel.