Senators introduce cybersecurity workforce expansion bill

Senators introduce cybersecurity workforce expansion bill

Four members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee from both sides of the aisle introduced a bill Tuesday to expand America's cybersecurity workforce.

The Harvesting American Cybersecurity Knowledge through Education Act would enhance existing science education and cybersecurity programs in the National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Department of Transportation.

ADVERTISEMENT

It would do so by incentivizing the recruitment of educators in the field, designing clear paths for professionals and increasing coordination between the agencies listed above.

“Cybersecurity risks are constant in the growing digital world. It is critical that the United States stay ahead of malicious cyber activity with a workforce that can safeguard our innovation, research, and work environments,” committee Chairman Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerHillicon Valley: DOJ indicts Chinese, Malaysian hackers accused of targeting over 100 organizations | GOP senators raise concerns over Oracle-TikTok deal | QAnon awareness jumps in new poll Shakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' Republican Senators raise concerns over Oracle-TikTok deal MORE (R-Miss.) said in a statement.

“This legislation is an important first step to expand the cybersecurity workforce and provide tools to support necessary education and training,” he added.

“America is facing serious cyber threats every day in today’s increasingly connected world, yet there is a serious shortage of workers needed to confront this urgent challenge,” said Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg acknowledges failure to take down Kenosha military group despite warnings | Election officials push back against concerns over mail-in voting, drop boxes Bipartisan senators call for investigation of popular fertility app The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mike Roman says 3M on track to deliver 2 billion respirators globally and 1 billion in US by end of year; US, Pfizer agree to 100M doses of COVID-19 vaccine that will be free to Americans MORE (D-Wash.). "There are currently 300,000 vacancies in our cyber workforce nationwide."

Sens. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGraham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Tumultuous court battle upends fight for Senate What Senate Republicans have said about election-year Supreme Court vacancies MORE (R-S.D.) and Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHillicon Valley: Election officials prepare for new Russian interference battle | 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy | GOP senators unveil bill to update tech liability protections Google, Apple, eBay to meet virtually with lawmakers for tech group's annual fly-in Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic MORE (D-Nev.) also introduced the bill.

Similar legislation, the Cyber Ready Workforce Act, was introduced in both chambers earlier this year but remains in committees. That bill would direct the Department of Labor to award grants that help create and expand cyber apprenticeship programs.