The mission at CISA – protecting cybersecurity and critical infrastructure – is a rare opportunity to apply skills to protect and defend across a number of threat vectors and supporting a variety of partners.
“If I were to leave CISA and go to one organization, I would be dealing with one organization’s threats,” said Jermaine Roebuck, deputy associate director, CISA “But here at CISA you have a unique opportunity to work with so many organizations across so many sectors.”
Roebuck explained how he started in 2013 with a couple of coworkers and a BlackBerry at his disposal. Now CISA has grown in both personnel and capacity, boasting a workforce of approximately 2500 with a headquarters in Arlington, VA and regional headquarters across the country. A part of that growth has been expanding with additional cybersecurity and cyber-skilled professionals, but also bringing in individuals with experience in the specific sectors that need protecting.
“It doesn’t matter what background or which perspective you come from because here at CISA we address threats cross 16 critical infrastructure sectors,” said Roebuck. “If someone happens to have experience in the energy sector, or water and pipelines, but no cyber experience, I find that we can train them to become cyber experts and their unique perspective and background working in a critical infrastructure sector is very valuable to our mission space.”
That reflects the emphasis across the cybersecurity field in reskilling and upskilling for professionals to work in the cybersecurity field. It’s often easier to provide someone with the right understand of a cyber language or framework, and then apply that within the threat vector being addressed, whether it’s chemicals and bomb protection or facilities and energy.
CISA: A Global Cyber Mission
“Since being here I have been uniquely excited about the impact we can have across the country, being able to influence how the country protects itself against cyber threats,” said Roebuck. He emphasized how CISA works to train, enable and empower agencies and organizations across the country, providing tools, resources and threats assessments that can be used to protect the organization.
“The whole idea and premise behind that is to enable other organization to make use of these tools so they can investigate for themselves the activity that may be occurring,” said Roebuck. He emphasized that CISA can’t be on the ground to personally protect every small town or small business across the country. But by providing their resources and information, they’re enabling organizations to protect themselves in a cutting-edge way.”
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