(UnitedVoice.com) – Over the last number of years, China and Russia created have advanced cyber hacking capabilities. Yet, the US government may be woefully unprepared to defend the country against them. According to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, there’s one surefire way to tackle the crisis. The former tech executive suggests the government should create a four-year digital training academy. Its purpose would be to train future government workers to protect the country from adversaries who intend to harm the US digitally.
Schmidt isn’t the only one to suggest such an idea. In November 2021, the Government Accounting Office reported the federal government faces a crushing employee shortfall in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Still, there are questions about how committed Congress is to the idea.
Schmidt Proposes Civilian Cyber Warfare Training Academy
On March 31, Schmidt told Axios the US government needs a four-year cyberwarfare academy to train the brightest and most intelligent people in artificial intelligence and cyberwarfare. After students finish schooling, they would serve in the government for five years. The former Google CEO said it’s vital the government move forward with a cybersecurity academy because the systems coming online are incredibly complicated. While today’s government is well-meaning, Schmidt said it doesn’t have the workforce with the right talents and skillsets to manage the nation’s digital threats.
On December 23, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post. She labeled cybersecurity as one of the most critical lines of defense for the United States and cited the Russian cyber hack in 2019 of the SolarWinds software used by the US government. The hack went undetected for months and hit the Energy, Treasury, and Justice Departments and the National Institutes of Health.
Like Schmidt, Sen. Gillibrand said the government must build a new generation of professionals prepared to deal with the emerging threat which could cripple the government, the nation’s infrastructure, and businesses. She called for a Cyber Academy.
In the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the bureau said a panel of roundtable government participants agreed that a digital service academy was vital to training future civil servants. In their proposal, students and future government leaders would learn artificial intelligence and cyberwarfare, and the academy would also instruct them on how the government functions to meet the needs of various agencies.
Government in Deep Need for Cyber Security Professionals
According to CyberSeek, which analyzes data about supply and demand trends in the cybersecurity job market, over 38,000 open cybersecurity positions exist in the public sector. Gillibrand said that 93% of the government workforce in computer science, computer engineering, and information technology is over 30 years old.
Schmidt has been meeting with government officials and members of Congress to educate and persuade them of the need for highly-skilled cybersecurity government workers. Numerous ideas and plans are floating around. Yet, will Congress take the time to debate the issue and settle on a plan, or will it focus on other social priorities through the rest of this year?
Stay tuned. Anything can happen.
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