WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation authored by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, John Hoeven (R-ND) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) that would help recruit, develop and retain highly-skilled cybersecurity professionals in the federal workforce has passed the Senate. Agencies across the federal government face growing cyber threats, but struggle to hire and retain qualified cybersecurity employees.
“Cyber-attacks pose a significant threat to our nation and are only becoming more sophisticated and frequent. To fight back against this threat, protect American networks, and safeguard personal information – the federal government must have a highly skilled cyber workforce,” said Senator Peters. “This commonsense legislation will help provide federal cybersecurity professionals with the tools and skills to deter foreign adversaries and criminal organizations from breaching our nation’s information technology systems and disrupting the lives and livelihoods of Americans.”
“Our legislation will help retain our existing cyber-workforce while also boosting collaboration between agencies to ensure our nation is better equipped to deal with threats,” said Senator Hoeven, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Committee. “Given the increase in cyber threats and the growing complexity of these attacks, it’s vital our federal workforce has the knowledge and skills to fight back. We appreciate the Senate approving our legislation, and will continue working to advance the bill through the full Congress.”
“We must take action to fill the gaps in our cyber workforce and meet the challenge of protecting Americans in today’s digital world,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m thrilled that the Senate voted to pass legislation to ensure the federal government is equipped with a skilled workforce to strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure and protect American students, businesses, and consumers’ data from bad actors.”
Government agencies often cannot compete with the salaries and other benefits offered by tech giants in Silicon Valley, but they provide valuable opportunities to serve the country and defend our cyber front lines. The Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act creates a civilian personnel rotation program for cybersecurity professionals at federal agencies. This program would enable employees to serve across multiple government agencies, allowing them to gain experience beyond their primary assignment and expand their professional networks. The legislation will provide opportunities to help attract and retain cybersecurity experts in the federal government by offering civilian employees opportunities to enhance their careers, broaden their professional experience, and foster collaborative networks by experiencing and contributing to the cyber mission beyond their home agencies.