DOD needs top talent to address cyberthreats, acting CIO says

The U.S. Department of Defense needs to attract and retain talented workers to address cybersecurity challenges, John A. Zangardi, acting CIO of the DOD, said at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's Defense Cyber Operations Symposium in Baltimore June 15.

Mr. Zangardi highlighted how Congress granted DOD authority to hire cybersecurity professionals via a new approach to managing civilian workers, called the Cyber Excepted Service. Under the program, the DOD will have more flexibility in civilian hiring procedures in a range of locations.

In addition to the Cyber Excepted Service program — which the DOD will release personnel policies for this summer — Mr. Zangardi also emphasized the importance of inspiring and mentoring children to become a part of the future cybersecurity workforce.

"The future will require the development of a well-rounded workforce that is proficient in the basics, and the basics to me are reading and writing and math," he said.

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