Langevin Statement on Trump Cybersecurity Workforce Executive Order

May 2, 2019 Issues: Cybersecurity, Economy and Jobs, Education

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus and a senior member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, released the following statement regarding President Trump’s Cybersecurity Workforce Executive Order:

“Challenges with the cybersecurity workforce have been a consistent theme I have heard from industry, government and academia since I founded the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus more than a decade ago. We have a serious deficit in the number of skilled cyber defenders to protect our critical assets in cyberspace, a deficit compounded by the growing threats we face. I give full credit to the Trump Administration for recognizing this gap and taking steps to close it, both within the federal government and across the private sector.

“Just two days ago, I asked Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Krebs about how to ensure our federal workforce is up to the challenge of protecting our networks. I am pleased that the EO reflects Krebs’s strategy of ensuring that personnel across the government have a chance to rotate through DHS and be better integrated into CISA’s coordinating role. Investments in the public servants that are on the front lines of the fight in cyberspace are essential to keep their skills current in the rapidly evolving technology landscape. I also commend the direction to develop awards and decorations to recognize our cybersecurity workforce and their too often unheralded work keeping us safe.

“The mission of the cybersecurity workforce in the federal government is unique. Nowhere else can you work on the hardest challenges in cybersecurity knowing your fellow citizens’ private data – and even their safety – is on the line. However, the federal culture has not always reflected the collaborative and curious mindset that is often found among the cybersecurity community. I have been encouraged by recent changes, such as the Army Cyber School’s use of Git to maintain coursework, that are building a more inclusive culture. I believe the President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition, if it builds on the many successful competitions that are a hallmark of cyber conferences, will further build this culture within the government in a way that encourages cybersecurity professionals to thrive. I extend an open invitation to the first winners of the Cup to come to Capitol Hill and share their thoughts on how to continue to make the government a more attractive place to work.

“However, the cybersecurity workforce challenges we face extend beyond the government. Congressman ‘GT’ Thompson and I have introduced the Cybersecurity Skills Integration Act to help address the lack of basic cybersecurity training for people who work with cyber-physical systems through development of new career and technical education curricula. The EO acknowledges this specific gap, and I look forward to working with the Administration to advance this bill and better protect our critical infrastructure. I also applaud the repeated references to the NIST National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, which helps provide a common set of skill requirements across cybersecurity-related positions.

“Protecting our nation in cyberspace is a bipartisan issue, and I look forward to working with the President to achieve the goals laid out in the Executive Order. However, I remain concerned that the lack of a dedicated cybersecurity coordinator at the White House will continue to hamper interagency initiatives like this one, and I urge the President to reinstate this important position.”