The skills gap poses a persistent challenge to organizations. Enterprises need a qualified workforce if they are to adequately defend against digital threats. This is true for every industry and is especially so for the public sector.
Acknowledging that fact, Congress enacted the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act (Act) in 2015. This piece of legislation requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to develop a coding structure under the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) for cybersecurity positions and create procedures that facilitate the coding structure’s implementation for civilian cybersecurity positions. It also stipulates that 24 agencies covered by the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act must submit baseline assessments of their workforces and establish processes to apply OPM’s coding structure to their workforces.
Most of the CFO Act agencies submitted baseline assessments. In an effort to examine the OPM’s coding procedures and understand the progress of the Act’s implementation, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed the baseline assessments and coding procedures from the reporting agencies. It also interviewed personnel at both the OPM and the CFO Act agencies and published its findings in a report to congressional committees.
What it learned was less than encouraging.
Of the 24 CFO Act agencies that were required to submit baseline assessments, 21 of them complied with the Act and sent their analyses to Congress. Three agencies—the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Small Business Administration—did not submit assessments due to a lack of tools and resources, among other reasons. Even then, four of the agency assessments didn’t contain all relevant information, namely, they didn’t discuss the level of preparedness of employees without certifications to take certification exams. Additionally, one agency failed to discuss in its assessment how it planned to mitigate certification (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The State of Security authored by David Bisson. Read the original post at: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/government/federal-agencies-fell-short-in-assessments-of-cybersecurity-employees-finds-report/