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According to the White House 60-Day Cybersecurity Review, led by Melissa Hathaway, there is an urgent need to expand the federal cybersecurity workforce. Vance Hitch, the Justice Department’s chief information officer, recently noted at a news conference on federal cybersecurity workforce that the federal government needs to “hire at least 1,000 cybersecurity graduates a year and should be creating and expanding recruiting programs.” The US Cyber Challenge will help to develop America’s cyber talent pool. The program follows the Center for Strategic & International Studies Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency and is comprised of three distinct competitions:

  • CyberPatriot high school competition conducted by the Air Force Association;
  • DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge conducted by the US Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center; and
  • NetWars, a vulnerability identification competition conducted by the SANS Institute.

    Promising candidates will be invited to attend regional “camps” at local colleges, run jointly by college faculty and cyber security experts from the community. The best candidates may be offered internships and further training in federal agencies, such as the National Security Agency, the FBI, DoD DC3, US CERT, and US Department of Energy Laboratories.

    Rep. Clarke said, “I am excited that the President is following through on his promise to make cybersecurity one of our national security proprieties. I commend the Administration’s commitment to building our cyber workforce through partnership with the private sector and academia.” The Polytechnic Institute of NYU in Brooklyn, a leader in cyber training, will host the New York region’s cyber camps. Clarke added, “I look forward to the launch of a regional U.S. Challenge competition in Brooklyn this fall. I’m excited to help recruit young cyber warriors from the City’s many outstanding technical high schools, including Erasmus Hall High School in my congressional district.”

    Congresswoman Clarke represents one of the most diverse districts in New York City. She was recently appointed to the Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity and Science and Technology for the 111th Congress. Rep Clarke is also Senior Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus. This is her second term in Congress.