NIST will coordinate national cybersecurity education program

Institute picked to coordinate new interagency program to bolster computer security awareness

The National Institute of Standards and Technology will coordinate a nationwide cybersecurity education program recently started by the Obama administration.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said April 29 that NIST, part of the Commerce Department, would coordinate the administration’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE). In that role, the institute will work with agencies to lead programs to bolster cybersecurity awareness, education and training, Locke said.

The administration’s new program expands from a federal to a national focus the cybersecurity education programs started under the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, the administration said in a document describing NICE. The administration said the decision to expand the government’s computer security education program and make NIST its overall coordinator is in response to the White House’s review of cyberspace policy, released in May 2009.


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“I’m really confident in NIST’s ability to effectively coordinate across the federal agencies and to address these challenges,” Locke said at an event in Washington hosted by the Business Software Alliance.

NICE includes efforts to:

  • Boost national cybersecurity awareness to be led by the Homeland Security Department.
  • Bolster formal cybersecurity education programs to be led by the Education Department and the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.
  • Ensure that federal agencies can attract, recruit and retain cybersecurity employees to be led by the Office of Personnel Management.
  • Intensify training and professional development programs for the existing federal cybersecurity workforce to be led by Defense Department, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and DHS.

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Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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