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Cybersecurity

White House Advisers Recommend Higher Standards for Critical Infrastructure Workforce

Critical infrastructure

security

White House Advisers Recommend Higher Standards for Critical Infrastructure Workforce

The federal government can improve critical infrastructure security by increasing its procurement requirements and workforce standards, a group of White House advisers said.

In an interim report, the industry-led National Infrastructure Advisory Council said that denying federal contracts could incentivize critical infrastructure owners to better train their cybersecurity workforces, Nextgov reported.

Such requirements could include meeting job training standards, encouraging local hiring or partnering with cybersecurity service providers for education, according to NIAC CEO Jan Allman.

Allman delivered the interim briefing ahead of NIAC’s release of the full report for the National Security Council, which asked for the recommendations to be fast-tracked.

NIAC said it developed the interim recommendations based on 24 interviews with more than 60 individuals, in-depth research involving more than 300 sources and a study group report representing more than 20 working sessions.

The advisers formed a working group to investigate operator-level training, the potential impact of artificial intelligence on critical infrastructure jobs and the progress toward enhancing the credentials needed for such occupations.

NIAC said that once Congress releases relevant legislation, the government must work with all stakeholder sectors in developing a system for training and hiring critical infrastructure workers.

Despite new investments, the critical infrastructure sector might still suffer from the United States’ “fragmented” workforce development system, NIAC said.

The advisory cited Germany and Switzerland as countries that have national-level apprenticeship programs and integrated education and workforce development systems.

In contrast, U.S. workers are primarily influenced by state governments rather than by the federal government. The U.S. workforce, according to NIAC, “lacks a national lens.”

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Category: Cybersecurity

Tags: AI artificial intelligence critical infrastructure cybersecurity federal Germany Switzerland Jan Allman legislation National Infrastructure Advisory Council Nextgov NIAC report training White House workforce