Criteria for Decision-Making
Committee on Professionalizing the Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce:
Criteria for Future Decision-Making
Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This project was supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Contract No. HSHQDC-11-D-00009, Task Order No. HSHQDC-12-J-00157. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.
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COMMITTEE ON PROFESSIONALIZING THE NATION’S CYBERSECURITY WORKFORCE: CRITERIA FOR FUTURE DECISION-MAKING
DIANA L. BURLEY, George Washington University, Co-Chair
SEYMOUR E. GOODMAN, Georgia Institute of Technology, Co-Chair
MATT BISHOP, University of California, Davis
MISCHEL L. KWON, Mischel Kwon and Associates, LLC
KEVIN R. MURPHY, Colorado State University
PHILIP M. NECHES, Foundation Ventures, LLC.
CHARLES “CASEY” O’BRIEN, National CyberWatch Center, Prince George’s Community College
RONALD P. SANDERS, Booz Allen Hamilton
JON EISENBERG, Director, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
ENITA A. WILLIAMS, Associate Program Officer (through April 2013)
SHENAE BRADLEY, Senior Program Assistant
COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD
ROBERT F. SPROULL, Oracle (retired), Chair
LUIZ ANDRÉ BARROSO, Google, Inc.
ROBERT BRAMMER, Brammer Technology, LLC
EDWARD FRANK, Apple, Inc.
JACK L. GOLDSMITH III, Harvard Law School
SEYMOUR E. GOODMAN, Georgia Institute of Technology
LAURA M. HAAS, IBM Amalden Research Laboratory
ROBERT HOROWITZ, Stanford University
MICHAEL KEARNS, University of Pennsylvania
ROBERT KRAUT, Carnegie Mellon University
SUSAN LANDAU, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
PETER LEE, Microsoft Corporation
DAVID E. LIDDLE, U.S. Venture Partners
BARBARA LISKOV, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
JOHN STANKOVIC, University of Virginia
JOHN A. SWAINSON, Dell, Inc.
PETER SZOLOVITS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ERNEST J. WILSON, University of Southern California
KATHERINE YELICK, University of California, Berkeley
JON EISENBERG, Director
VIRGINIA BACON TALATI, Program Officer
SHENAE BRADLEY, Senior Program Assistant
RENEE HAWKINS, Financial and Administrative Manager
HERBERT S. LIN, Chief Scientist
LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Associate Director
ERIC WHITAKER, Senior Program Assistant
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The federal National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) aims to “enhance the overall cybersecurity posture of the United States by accelerating the availability of educational and training resources designed to improve the cyber behavior, skills, and knowledge of every segment of the population.”1 One of the issues being considered as part of NICE is the role of professionalization in enhancing the cybersecurity workforce. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), one of the agencies carrying out activities under NICE, lists three questions regarding the role of professionalization on the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies webpage on cybersecurity professionalization:
• Is cybersecurity ready to be professionalized across the nation?
• Which jobs within the cybersecurity field should be professionalized and to what degree?
• Should the federal government lead this effort single handedly?2
That page goes on to describe the present study, sponsored by DHS, on professionalization. Box P.1 provides the full statement of task. To carry out the study, the Committee on Professionalizing the Nation’s Cyber-
1 U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS), About the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, available at http://niccs.us-cert.gov/footer/about-nice.
2 U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies, Professionalization, available at http://niccs.us-cert.gov/careers/professionalization.
BOX P.1 Statement of Task
An ad hoc committee will conduct a study that would consider approaches to increasing the professionalization of the nation’s cybersecurity workforce. It would examine workforce requirements for cybersecurity and the segments and job functions in which professionalization is most needed; the role of assessment tools, certification, licensing, and other means for assessing and enhancing professionalization; and emerging approaches, such as performance-based measures. It would also examine requirements for the federal (military and civilian) workforce, the private sector, and state and local government.
Three public workshops would be held in the course of the study as the principal data-gathering events to obtain input on the foregoing issues from education and training institutions and public and private sector employers of cybersecurity workers. The committee will develop the respective agendas, select and invite speakers and discussants, and moderate the discussions. Subsequently, the committee will prepare a report, drawing on the workshops. The report would characterize the current landscape for cybersecurity workforce development and set forth criteria that the federal agencies participating in the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education—as well as organizations that employ cybersecurity workers—could use to identify which specialty areas may require professionalization and to evaluate different approaches and tools for professionalization.
security Workforce: Criteria for Future Decision-Making was convened under the auspices of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council (Appendix A).
The statement of task speaks broadly about a range of matters to be considered or examined. With one exception noted below, the committee did explore all of these points. Consistent with discussions with DHS before and during the study as well as with the time and resources available for the study, the committee took as its central task to do what is called for in the final sentence of the statement of task—to prepare a report that would
Characterize the current landscape for cybersecurity workforce development and set forth criteria that the federal agencies participating in the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education—as well as organizations that employ cybersecurity workers—could use to identify which specialty areas may require professionalization and to evaluate different approaches and tools for professionalization.
In developing this report, the committee identified three essential elements—(1) understanding the context for cybersecurity workforce development; (2) considering the relative advantages, disadvantages, and approaches to professionalizing the nation’s cybersecurity workforce; and (3) setting forth criteria that can be used to identify which, if any, specialty areas may require professionalization—and set forth criteria for evaluating different approaches and tools for professionalization. As called for in the statement of task, the committee considered these in the context of the national cybersecurity workforce—and, in particular, not just with respect to the federal government workforce. One issue that is listed in the statement of task but is not addressed in this report is the question of approaches to performance assessment. The reason for this omission is simple: the committee did not hear about this point at the workshops it convened. The committee believes that this issue will merit more attention in the future as professionalization measures are implemented and refined.
The principal input to this study came from a series of three workshops convened by the study committee and held in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, California (coinciding with and partly co-located with the RSA Conference), and San Antonio, Texas. An additional data-gathering meeting with approximately 25 attendees was held at the Cybercorps Scholarship for Service principal investigators’ meeting on January 10, 2013, in Arlington, Virginia. Agendas for the three workshops organized by the committee are provided in Appendix B. Speakers at the workshops came from organizations associated with the education and development of cybersecurity workers (community colleges, colleges, and universities; organizations that provide certificates and certifications, and professional associations); organizations that employ cybersecurity workers (federal, state, and local government and a wide array of private sector firms). Speakers also included students and a diverse set of people who hold cybersecurity jobs or whose positions significantly involve cybersecurity. Within the federal government, speakers came from civilian, law enforcement, defense, and intelligence agencies. Speakers from private firms included individuals from the information technology, cybersecurity, entertainment, banking and finance, and manufacturing sectors. Lists of speakers and participants in the three workshops are provided in Appendix C. A principal focus of the workshops and other interactions was to understand how organizations think about cybersecurity jobs and the role of professionalization. In the course of these presentations and discussions, the committee heard almost every imaginable point of view, and many points were both corroborated and contradicted by other speakers.
During the course of the study, the committee also reviewed reports related to the cybersecurity workforce in general and to its profession-
alization in particular. These reports provide a variety of perspectives on the need, demand, and supply for cybersecurity workers, the sorts of skills required, and ways of improving the capacity and capability of the workforce. Some of these reports focused on the federal government workforce, while others looked at the workforce more broadly. Some are independent analysis, and others were prepared by groups with a particular interest in some aspect of workforce issues.
Chapters 1 and 2 provide context regarding the cybersecurity challenge, the role of the cybersecurity workforce in addressing this challenge, and the role that professionalization might play. Chapter 3 provides the committee’s analysis and its conclusions and recommendation.
We would like to thank the Department of Homeland Security for sponsoring this study and acknowledge in particular the assistance of Robin “Montana” Williams, branch chief, Cybersecurity Education and Awareness, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. We would also like to acknowledge the contributions made by the speakers and participants at the three workshops organized by the committee.
Diana Burley and Seymour Goodman, Co-Chairs
Committee on Professionalizing the
Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce:
Criteria for Future Decision-Making
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Byron Collie, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.,
Stephen Cooper, Stanford University,
Paul E. Gray, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cynthia Irvine, Naval Postgraduate School,
John D. Johnson, Deere & Company,
Anita Jones, University of Virginia,
Susan Landau, privacyink.org,
Fred Oswald, Rice University,
Michael Papay, Northrup Grumman Corporation,
Franklin S. Reeder, Reeder Group, Inc., and
Eugene Spafford, Purdue University.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by R. Stephen Berry, University of Chicago (emeritus). Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.