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Biden administration seeking ‘bold and ambitious’ ideas from cyber workforce RFI says WH official

Written by

Dave Nyczepir

The Biden administration is looking for “bold and ambitious” ideas in its recent request for information on how best to increase the United States’ cyber workforce, according to a senior White House official.

Speaking at a webinar hosted by the POPVOX Foundation on Monday, ONCD’s director for cyber workforce strategy and education, Suzanne Nielsen, said the government would even look at some of the most original ideas due to the volume of new talent needed to fill current vacancies in cyberspace.

She said: “The scale of the challenge, the speed at which it is in our interest as a country to meet it is all large in scale… [S]Be bold and ambitious, and we really appreciate those ideas.

In particular, the Office of the National Director of Cybersecurity (ONCD) has included in its Request for Information (RFI) an option to submit “Gordian knot” suggestions, which is intended to elicit possibly highly unusual solutions.

Earlier this month, the White House launched the RFI, which was published with the aim of collecting a lot of evidence on how the government could attract new talent to the public sector and all sectors of industry. Unlike many RFIs that only solicit vendor input, this one also asks for input from e-students and practitioners.

Responses to the RFI will be considered once the submission deadline closes at 11:59 a.m. EDT on November 3, 2022, and according to the White House, they will guide ONCD’s development of the National Workforce Strategy. cybernetic work and education.

ONCD plans to consolidate responses to Cyber ​​Workforce, Training & Education Information Request RFI in broad categories such as digital awareness, as well as specific bins such as electoral training for cyber specialists. But there is hope that some ideas will be novel.

Review of responses will continue until December and ONCD aims to complete submissions for any respondent who so requests by early February.

Speaking alongside Nielsen at the webinar, Camille Stewart Gloster, Deputy National Cybersecurity Director for Technology and Ecosystem Security, said the government recognizes it cannot develop a national strategy alone.

She said, “That’s why this is a pan-national strategy; that’s why we are hiring you all… [M]Much of that will be a burden on industry, a burden on the education sector, a burden on a bunch of low-key stakeholder groups to pick up their slack and run with it.

Along with industry and other respondents, nonprofit cyberworkforce champions such as Craig Newmark Philanthropies are also preparing responses.

“I’m really encouraged by the National Director of Cybersecurity at the White House who is making cyber workforce and related cybersecurity education a high priority,” said Craig Newmark, who previously founded Craigslist. . “This RFI is a real, important, important part of that because we need to move forward together as a country.”

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