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CHIPS Articles: President Issues New Executive Order to Strengthen America’s Cybersecurity Workforce

President Issues New Executive Order to Strengthen America’s Cybersecurity Workforce
By CHIPS Magazine - May 2, 2019
The White House has released a new Executive Order on America’s Cybersecurity Workforce. The Executive Order will implement programs intended to grow and strengthen America’s cybersecurity workforce to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

In summary, the Executive Order is designed to:

  • Promote the work of cybersecurity professionals within the Government, including by creating a President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition.
  • Launch a rotational program where employees can expand their cybersecurity expertise through temporary reassignments.
  • Encourage widespread adoption of the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework.
  • Aim to close skills gaps for defense and critical infrastructure cybersecurity.
  • Instruct federal agencies to identify cybersecurity aptitude assessments that they can use to reskill employees with potential in the cybersecurity field.
  • Establish the Presidential Cybersecurity Education Awards to recognize and reward excellent educators teaching cybersecurity-related subjects.

The new Executive Order states “America’s cybersecurity workforce is a strategic asset that protects the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life. The National Cyber Strategy, the President’s 2018 Management Agenda, and Executive Order 13800 of May 11, 2017 (Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure), each emphasize that a superior cybersecurity workforce will promote American prosperity and preserve peace. America’s cybersecurity workforce is a diverse group of practitioners who govern, design, defend, analyze, administer, operate, and maintain the data, systems, and networks on which our economy and way of life depend. Whether they are employed in the public or private sectors, they are guardians of our national and economic security.”

To promote the stated objectives, the U.S. government must enhance the workforce mobility of America’s cybersecurity practitioners to improve national cybersecurity. During their careers, America’s cybersecurity practitioners will serve in various roles for multiple and diverse entities. Government policy must facilitate the seamless movement of cybersecurity practitioners between the public and private sectors, maximizing the contributions made by their diverse skills, experiences, and talents.

To grow American cybersecurity capability, increase integration of the federal cybersecurity workforce, and strengthen the skills of federal information technology and cybersecurity practitioners, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), shall establish a cybersecurity rotational assignment program, which will serve as a mechanism for knowledge transfer and a development program for cybersecurity practitioners.

The Executive Order calls for the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Directors of OMB and OPM, to provide a report to the President that describes the proposed program, identifies its resource implications, and recommends actions required for its implementation within 90 days.

To read the Executive Order on America's Cybersecurity Workforce, visit:

See also:
--National Cyber Strategy
(Pillar 2, priority action: Develop a Superior Cybersecurity Workforce)
--Supporting the Growth and Sustainment of the Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce
-- Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure
(Section 3, item (d) Workforce Development)
-- National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Strategic Plan

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