Cybersecurity game plan needs stronger educational strategy

Senior DHS official calls for security scholarships for computer science students

Strengthening education in science, technology, engineering and math is crucial to U.S. cybersecurity efforts, a senior Homeland Security Department official said today.

Richard Marshall, director of global cybersecurity management in the Homeland Security Department’s National Cybersecurity Division, said improving supply chain management and software assurance are keys to bolstering cybersecurity but, without boosting education, computer security programs would fail.

“No matter how successful we are in those two elements, we are going to fail if we don’t invest more money, time and attention and rewards to educate the workforce today, tomorrow’s workforce and the next generation’s workforce,” Marshall said today at the FOSE 2010 trade show in Washington. FOSE, is presented by 1105 Media Inc., the parent company of Federal Computer Week, Government Computer News and Washington Technology.

Marshall added that the United States had made progress in attracting students to postgraduate computer science programs, but said more work needs to be done.

“It’s like the great football and basketball teams: they’re all on scholarship;  they’re not playing for fun, they’re playing for money,” he added. “We need to do the same thing with out computer-science students.”

Marshall also said schools should incorporate a computer security curriculum into law, business, social ,and political science studies because everyone is using the Internet.

 

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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