[ISN] Experts: Cybersecurity needs education, standards, partnerships

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Thu Jul 22 2004 - 04:49:43 PDT


By Margaret A.T. Reed 
July 21, 2004

Partnerships, education and standards are important to strengthening
the information technology workforce's ability to protect the nation's
infrastructure, experts and lawmakers said today at a hearing of the
House Science Committee.

Annual economic losses are estimated to be $13 billion to worms and
viruses and $226 billion to all forms of overt attacks, according to
documents prepared for the committee's hearing on cybersecurity.

"The advancement and availability of education, training and
internship programs is paramount if we are to strengthen our nation's
cybersecurity workforce," said Chet Hosmer, president and chief
executive officer of WetStone Technologies Inc.

Enacted in 2002, the Cyber Security Research and Development Act
designates the National Science Foundation as the lead agency for
civilian cybersecurity research and education and authorizes $216
million between fiscal years 2003 and 2007 for NSF cybersecurity,
education and training programs.

"Job creation in the 21st century can only happen with a 21st-century
system of education," said Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), committee

The foundation sponsors programs at every level of education to
encourage students to use their cybersecurity training to work for the
government. The organization's Scholarship Track provides grants to
students in exchange for two years of work in the Federal Cyber
Service, and its Capacity-Building Track provides grants to colleges
and universities to offer courses in cybersecurity.

The programs appear to be successful, but they still need a codified
set of standards, lawmakers said. The "federal government should
exercise more leadership in convening and coordinating efforts between
educators and industry to develop standards for certification and
accreditation of cybersecurity courses and educational programs," said
Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), the committee's ranking minority member.

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