Pentagon, industry to swap cybersecurity experts

The program would involve temporary assignment of DoD cybersecurity experts to companies and private sector experts to the Pentagon. “This Pilot is envisioned to promote the interchange of DoD and private sector IT professionals to enhance skills and competencies”, according to an interim final rule published in the Federal Register.

"Given the changing workforce dynamics in the IT field, DOD needs to take advantage of these types of professional development programs to proactively position itself to keep pace with the changes in technology. The immediate implementation of an Interim Final Rule is viable to enhance IT professional skills, particularly in the area of cybersecurity", the notice said.

Several DoD agencies will participate in the program, including the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Office of Naval Research, and the Pentagon’s Chief Information Officer.

Not everyone is thrilled with the pilot program. Don Hale, chair of the American Federation of Government Employees’ Defense Committee, warned that the program could jeopardize national security unless severe restrictions are placed on the private sector employees.

“I have serious doubts that the same level of scrutiny applies to private sector IT employees, and national security could be comprised during the exchange”, Hale told Defense Systems.

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