It turns out America isn’t the only country struggling to fill competitive cybersecurity positions. Last month Britain’s Foreign Secretary gave a speech announcing the addition of 70 new recruits to the various British intelligence services. The Government Communications Headquarters will also move to an open door, year round recruiting process rather than an annual one.
Most significantly and perhaps as a hint of what may be to come in the United States, they’re also looking to part time help when it comes to cyber talent, and are creating new opportunities for professionals to work as little as once per day to help the country man its cyber defenses.
The Brits are well aware that cyber crime is a threat. On October 18, Foreign Secretary William Hague gave a speech at Bletchley Park, the site of the British code breaking efforts of World War II. In it he stated “Today we are not at war, but I see evidence every day of deliberate, organized attacks against intellectual property and government networks in the United Kingdom from cyber criminals or foreign actors with the potential to undermine our security and economic competitiveness.”
He announced a program to add 70 new recruits to the various British intelligence services, and also noted that it will be partnering with local universities in order to attract talent earlier (an initiative already seen in the United States).
The London Evening Standard reported, that GCHQ is having a problem hiring the cyber security specialists that it needs. A boom in Internet based firms in the U.K. has raised the current market salary for such experts to a level that the cash strapped government cannot compete with – thus the proposal to use part-time cyber talent to supplement full-time staff.
The hiring situation is made more complex by the fact that many of the top people graduating from universities are not British citizens and are therefore ineligible for top secret clearances. The U.K. Is facing the same issues that the United States is facing, with the number of graduates in STEM fields lagging significantly the number of job openings. The Evening Standard says that the GCHQ plans to hire hundreds of part-timers. The ministers believe that any secrecy and security issues raised by this sort of dual employment can be addressed.
Charles Simmins brings thirty years of accounting and management experience to his coverage of the news. An upstate New Yorker, he is a free lance journalist, former volunteer firefighter and EMT, and is owned by a wife and four cats.