In this video, Marc Menninger describes why the US federal government is a strong marketplace for IT security professionals. Learn how the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requires federal agencies to be secure. Explore why federal agencies are prime cyberattack targets. Understand steps the federal government is taking to improve IT security.
- If you're researching marketplaces for your IT security skills, the U.S. Federal Government is worth serious consideration. There are three reasons why the government is a major marketplace for IT security jobs: federal agencies are required to be secure, they're prime cyberattack targets, and the government recognizes it has a problem and is serious about fixing it. First, federal agencies are required by law to be secure. That law is the Federal Information Security Management Act or FISMA.
FISMA requires federal agencies to implement a comprehensive program to protect government information, operations, and assets against natural or man-made threats. That means all federal agencies need IT security directors, managers, engineers, analysts, and other security professionals to ensure their security programs and systems are implemented and function correctly. Second, federal agencies are prime cyberattack targets.
Attackers know that government agencies handle vast amounts of highly sensitive information. Yet, even with FISMA, many agencies are lacking when it comes to IT security. In fact, a government accountability office, GAO report, noted that information security incidents rose and outstanding 1000% between 2006 and 2014. And unfortunately, some of these attacks have been successful on a massive scale. We saw this in the Office of Personnel Management or OPM hack where the sensitive personal information of nearly 22 million people was stolen.
Because federal agencies are such big targets, IT security professionals are badly needed to help prevent against future attacks and breaches. And finally the government recognizes it has a problem and is actively paying for better IT security to fix it. In 2016, the U.S. Federal Government introduced the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy designed to develop and strengthen the federal IT security workforce. The government wants to demonstrate that it is the employer of choice for IT security professionals by offering rewarding, unique, and dynamic careers that rival opportunities anywhere else in the world.
Also in 2016, the Cybersecurity National Action Plan or CNAP received $3.1 billion in federal funding to pay for improvements in IT security. So clearly the federal government is serious about improving IT security and it will need professionals to help make that happen. While there are more, these are just three reasons why the federal government is a strong marketplace for your IT security skills.
Marc closes with a few pieces of career advice specific to the world of information security, which will help you succeed in this dynamic and high-demand industry.
- IT security key concepts
- Understanding the job marketplace (government vs. healthcare, etc.)
- IT security success traits
- Career specializations
- IT security certifications
- Getting experience
- Marketing yourself