I am writing a series of articles for a client of mine on the state of employment in the world of Cyber security. The first article dealt with the best training camps for both adults and kids; and the second article (yet to be written) will be dealing with on how to get kids motivated for a career in Cyber security.
But truth to be told, there is still a severe shortage of skilled workers in Cyber security, that it is predicted by the ISC2 has predicted a shortage of workers of almost 2 million by 2020 – still a huge void to be filled.
So, what can be done to fill this gap? The industry is doing everything that it can in the time being, by offering such things as Bug Bounty programs, hiring outside contractors, offering lucrative bonuses to prospective candidates, trying to get kids interested, and even making an effort to convert the Cyber attacker into a “Good Guy”, and giving them a chance at employment.
But now it looks like, there may another candidate pool that the Cyber security can tap into: The United States Military. There are numerous reasons that are pointed out for this, which include the following:
*The Cyber security landscape is becoming more like a real-life battlefield. It has become highly unpredictable; thus, you need people who are trained to think on their feet like this. Unfortunately, civilian jobs can’t offer this kind of training, only the military can.
*The Cyber attacker is just not a homegrown criminal. They lurk in all parts of the world, and these geographic regions are known specifically as “nation state actors”. This includes the likes of North Korea, Russia, and China. People who have been trained in the military will actually have been further trained in how to deal with adversaries, and receive specialized training in intelligence gathering – something that most civilian jobs cannot offer yet.
*The modern Cyber security threat landscape (from the standpoint of the professionals whom are fighting the hackers) will have much more a military kind of undertaking than every before. Because of that, why not hire people who already have that military background?
*At the present time, the United States military is dealing a lot with Cyber types of warfare; and because of that, they are offering many types of training programs for their personnel whom are interested. For example, a bulk of these camps are locating in Colorado, such as:
*US Army’s Fort Carson;
*Peterson Air Force Base;
*Schriever Air Force Base;
*United States Air Force Academy;
*Air Force Space Command;
*North American Aerospace Defense Command;
*Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center.
*Unlike their civilian counterparts, military personnel are highly trained in other areas that correlate highly with Cyber security – such as advanced electronics, training in all sorts of computer hardware and even software, threat detection, etc. Because of all of this and much more, people from the military are taught to have a proactive mindset from the get go and quickly assess a risky situation. This is a skill which obviously cannot be taught in any college/university or for that matter, in any civilian job.
*Great emphasis is now being placed upon Cyber security professionals to actually think like how an adversary would (and not just simply thinking about what kinds of Security technologies need to be deployed) namely the Cyber attacker. What better place to learn this skillset than the military?
*A prefect example of military being engaged in the world of Cyber security is that of the 50th Space Wing, based out of the United States Air Force Space Command. The personnel there have the ultimate responsibility for over 185 satellites “. . . which provide space and cyberspace war-fighting capabilities that ensure our safety and security [on a daily basis]. (SOURCE: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/why-military-veterans-might-be-key-to-closing-the-cybersecurity-jobs-gap/).
*The Colorado Springs Economic Development Committee (aka CSEDC) is in the process of highly supporting veterans whom are transitioning from a military to a civilian career in in Cyber security by offering them free transitional services.
*The SecureSet is an immersive, accelerated type of Cyber security academy which offers a five-month training program to active personnel as they soon transition out of the military and into a civilian role. More information about this can be seen here at this link:
My thoughts on this?
Actually, I never really thought that recruiting from the ranks of the military as an option for the Cyber security industry. I always kept thinking of how civilians can fill that role. But to be totally honest, I really love the idea of hiring Cyber security professionals from the military. Not only are they trained in the technology, but they are highly disciplined and logical in their approaches and thinking levels.
As I mentioned before, they can quickly assess a threat situation and decide what the best options are to protect a business or a corporation from a Cyber-attack. Thus, they have that proactive mindset that is so critically needed in the Cyber security industry today.
Also, on a personal level, I feel that we as an American society, have done very little to help those veterans that have risked their lives to protect the freedoms and the rights that we take so much for granted today. Why not pay them back by giving them extremely strong consideration when they apply for Cyber security positions?