Amazon's cybersecurity staffing strategy

Stephen Schmidt, Amazon's chief security officer, is deploying several tactics to recruit and retain top cybersecurity talent, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 12.


While most of the company is on a hiring freeze, Amazon is still seeking cybersecurity talent. Mr. Schmidt, who previously served as chief information security officer of Amazon Web Services, is building an internal and external pipeline of talent. The company has open roles in applications and satellite systems, among other areas.

Mr. Schmidt told the Journal he recruits internal candidates for the cybersecurity team from the customer service department because their mindset is already focused on solving issues for customers. About 25 percent of the security team is composed of internal hires.

Amazon's internal training program for cybersecurity talent includes rotations in applications and software security, among other areas with round-the-clock shifts, according to the report.

Other roles in the cybersecurity team required a more sophisticated background. Cryptographic security team members, who are engineers who act like hackers to test security, are among the hardest roles for Amazon to hire. Amazon also has a hard time hiring team members to manage employees' digital identities and access to the corporate data system.

Amazon's retention strategy includes allowing employees to move across business units for higher engagement, according to the report. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy also has a keen focus on cybersecurity and trust in Mr. Schmidt.

"Andy has never turned me down for something that I said is necessary to do the job," Mr. Schmidt told the Journal.

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