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President Joe Biden’s spin doctors continually try to put a good face on America’s ongoing cyber crisis, like when they had first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, kick-off the White House’s back-to-school cyber safety summit and tout a new “formal, ongoing collaboration” between all levels of government and school districts. But the truth is, cybersecurity is just another major issue where America is lagging under the stewardship of Biden.
As of the end of 2022, way past the point where Biden could blame this crisis on former President Donald Trump, there was a labor shortage of cyber personnel to the tune of approximately 700,000 unfilled positions throughout the job market.
America’s understaffing in the cyber profession poses significant dangers in both the public and private sectors. In today’s interconnected climate, cyber threats and the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals has never been higher. A shortage of proficient cybersecurity personnel poses dire consequences for national security and privacy protection.
In the public sector, under the unthinkably incompetent leadership of Alejandro Mayorkas at the top of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal and state level government agencies and critical infrastructure assets face countless cyber threats from state-sponsored threat actors and cybercriminals.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a sub-agency under DHS, has put out far more than enough taxpayer dollars over the past 2-plus years to have made major strides in the cybersphere, but positive results have eluded them two-thirds of the way through Joe Biden’s current term.
Just weeks ago, there was a joint cybersecurity advisory from CISA, the FBI, the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), and the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS), regarding a spike in Truebot malware, a botnet that is often utilized by Russia-backed cyber gangs like CLOP.
Chinese threat actors were also just reported to be behind an attack that led to the breach of an email account linked to the U.S. Ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, as part of a larger targeted intelligence-gathering initiative.
Without adequate cyber personnel, government entities will always struggle in responding to hacks effectively. This will lead to more data breaches, disruptions of essential services, and other dangers to national security. Additionally, losing or compromising any sensitive government data may disrupt diplomatic relations or ongoing intelligence operations.
In the private sector, businesses across various industries continue to be targeted by threat actors seeking to steal valuable intellectual property, consumer information, and financial data. These kinds of breaches are regularly executed by countries like China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
Maintaining an understaffed private sector will slow incident response times, leaving entities exposed to prolonged hacks. The results of which will likely be larger financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liabilities.
Moreover, interconnectedness between the private and public sectors makes them interdependent. So cyber-attacks that target private companies increasingly have ripple effects on critical infrastructure and public services, including energy, transportation, and healthcare.
This only emphasizes the importance of having a deep cybersecurity workforce in both the public and private sectors, as it can more effectively collaborate to defend against threats effectively.
To address these challenges, America needs to invest in robust cybersecurity education, training, and recruitment efforts. One program that hopes to achieve this is Florida International University’s (FIU) cybersecurity workforce training program. This program provides free cyber training to veterans and first responders.
We must also encourage younger students to pursue careers in cyber fields and launch a consistent plan for doing so year-round, and not just trotting out Jill Biden types one week out of the year for awareness. This, in addition to offering better salaries and benefits packages, should attract the talent needed to fill critical cybersecurity roles.
This extended years’ long understaffing epidemic in the cybersecurity sector continues to pose significant risks for the United States, leaving it vulnerable to hacks on multiple fronts. At this point, a substantially larger commitment must be made towards building the well-equipped cybersecurity workforce of the future.
If we do so, it strengthens our cyber defenses, protects sensitive data, safeguards national interests, and establishes a resilient and secure cybersphere. Whether or not the 46th President and his cabinet are up to the task remains to be seen.
Julio Rivera is a business and political strategist, cybersecurity researcher, Editorial Director for Reactionary Times, and a political commentator and columnist. His writing, which is focused on cybersecurity and politics, has been published by many of the most respected news organizations in the world.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.