One of the major problems facing the cybersecurity of the nation’s critical infrastructure is a lack of personnel, according to witnesses at both the House Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday. Both committees held hearings on the security of critical infrastructure in the U.S.
“We’re looking for Congress’ support to increase those field deployed [agents] in the 2017 budget,” said Andy Ozment, assistant secretary of the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications National Protection and Programs Directorate at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, who spoke on the House panel. He explained that his department has six agents called Cyber Security Advisors (CSA) who perform risk assessments of various critical infrastructures. With the added funds, he hopes to have 24 agents. “We must work across the U.S.”
Duane D. Highley, president and CEO of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., agreed in the Senate hearing that the lack of cyber personnel is a prominent concern for the infrastructure industry: “A lot of the time we have to go out of the country to get those people.”