The National Governors Association (NGA), in partnership with the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), hosted a State Cybersecurity Workforce Roundtable on December 8th in Charleston, South Carolina.
At the roundtable, senior state cybersecurity experts, human resources professionals, workforce officials and association partners convened to workshop solutions to cybersecurity workforce constraints experienced in state government. It has been widely acknowledged that states have many challenges in recruiting and retaining a qualified workforce, and one of the biggest gaps is in the fields of information technology and cybersecurity. The goal of the meeting was to agree on concrete actions that can be taken now to address these needs.
The day-long discussion kicked off with participants “setting the stage” and laying out the common challenges to cybersecurity recruitment, hiring and retention felt across their state agencies. This initial session defined the scope of the problem and provided states space to establish common ground and an understanding of each environment.
The conversation continued with working sessions aimed at “addressing the issue,” during which attendees proposed strategies to one another based on the experiences, best practices, and new initiatives being rolled out in their respective states. Deepening collaboration among academia, state agencies, nonprofit organizations and private sector partners was raised as a critical way to build pipelines and provide development opportunities for the contemporary workforce. The importance of reskilling and upskilling the existing workforce was also offered as a necessary solution to ensuring technical cyber competencies are kept up to date.
Looking forward, NGA and NASCIO will continue the collaboration to assist state officials in addressing the gaps in their cyber workforce. The findings from the roundtable and participants’ recommendations will be published in a joint report in early 2023. The hope is that this publication can serve as a resource to offer case studies and actionable solutions to the nation’s 55 states and territories. For more information about these efforts, please contact Casey Dolen, Senior Cybersecurity Policy Analyst (firstname.lastname@example.org).