Finally!! The US Government has realized that they need to take fighting cyber crime and cyber terrorism more seriously. They have recently decided to do what countries like China and Russia have done…hire cyber warriors (read ethical hackers) to protect our national defense infrastructure. They’ll be used to do several tasks. First, protect our infrastructure against intrusion, theft and other attacks; second, when we’re attacked, to identify the intruders and counter-attack; and third, to design and execute cyber attacks on other countries’ critical infrastructure, should that become necessary.
We know that attacks on a country’s critical infrastructure such as the electrical grid, communications, energy, water supply, dams, and the Internet have been included in war strategy scenarios; either as a collateral attack to worsen the effect of the main attack, or as the primary attack itself. Imagine how much more difficult it would be to react and recover from an attack on our country if we didn’t have our ability to communicate or lose electric power across the country.
Getting back to cyber warriors…the government is looking for electrical engineering or computer engineering graduates who can pass rigorous security investigations and obtain the highest clearances. They also have shorter programs to train and certify these cyber warriors. A recent article in The New New Internet on this subject stated “We need people who can keep cyber enemies from infiltrating the many operating systems that are now out there,” said Gary Cluff, manager of corporate recruiting for MITRE Corporation. “This is as great a threat as nuclear warfare when it comes to ensuring our national security.”
I applaud the government for taking this very necessary action; and hope they’ll make these positions attractive to the very best young talent we have in this country. It will be counter-productive at best, and at worst cause failure of the program; if this valuable function is “bureaucratized” as other government jobs are; including offering to pay them according to government civil service pay scales. These cyber warriors should be paid so well that they will remain in these positions for their entire careers; and not be tempted to be lured away by other, less noble organizations…including other countries.
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