Cybercrime is fast becoming the largest threat to peoples’ safety and security as more and more of life’s important transactions take place over the Internet. It goes far beyond online shopping, bill paying and banking; the nation’s power grid, security systems and emergency protocols also now have ties to the World Wide Web that could lead to cybersecurity weaknesses.
In fact, federal computer networks are scanned and subject to attempted hacks millions of times a day and state agencies are being targeted as well. President Obama has now put forth a plan in the form of a legislative proposal to address these growing threats.
The plan emphasizes coordination between the federal government and the rest of the nation, including commercial businesses, energy companies and state agencies. This means that the government, particularly the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), would have a certain measure of oversight authority when it comes to the cybersecurity of the private sector.
Critics argue, however, that the legislative proposal is devoid of enforcement measures and milestones, and will not produce quantifiable results. On the other hand, members of the private sector have made it clear they would prefer being in charge of their own cybersecurity responsibilities.
While the proposal promises much political wrangling as the parameters for new cyber laws are negotiated, one thing has been made clear: the DHS will be given great latitude to hire and retain well-trained cybersecurity professionals.
In addition to adding more federal cybersecurity jobs, the proposal calls for an incentive program to be established to help private-sector businesses recruit people in positions that would complement those of the DHS to better facilitate a united front against cybercrime.
Coordination between domestic agencies and enterprises is only the first step. Even more jobs in cybersecurity will open as the White House proposal is expanded to include positions that will address international cybersecurity issues.