The two bills, sponsored by Sens. Jacky Rosen (D- Nev.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), would create pilot programs within the departments of Defense and Homeland Security to recruit qualified civilians cybersecurity workers to serve in a reserve capacity.
The programs are intended to ensure that the government has the cyber talent it needs to “defeat, deter, or respond to malicious cyber activity,” according to a release announcing the legislation.
“Cybersecurity threats targeting the United States continue to grow in scale and scope, demonstrating the urgent need for robust civilian cyber reserves capable of addressing these threats and protecting our nation,” Rosen said in a statement.
“Our bipartisan legislation will help ensure the U.S. government can leverage existing cybersecurity talent from the private sector to help our nation deter and swiftly respond to cyberattacks,” she added.
This follows a national cyber workforce strategy unveiled earlier this month by the Pentagon. The strategy aims to increase and improve the department’s labor force by recruiting, training and retaining the best talent.
The agency outlined several goals it plans on implementing in the coming months, including closing workforce development gaps, establishing an enterprise-wide talent management program and fostering collaboration with other government agencies, industry leaders, academia and allied nations.