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Trump Signs Executive Order to Bolster Cybersecurity Workforce

Donald Trump signs cybersecurity workforce executive order

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order whose goal is to grow and strengthen the country’s cybersecurity workforce.

The White House says there are over 300,000 cybersecurity job vacancies in the United States and believes it’s crucial for the country’s economy and security that these jobs are filled.

The executive order outlines the development of a rotational program that enables government employees to temporarily be assigned to other agencies. A similar program is proposed by the Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act, a bill passed in the Senate earlier this week.

The order also encourages widespread adoption of the cybersecurity workforce framework from the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), which should help in recruiting, improving and retaining talent.

The Trump administration also hopes to boost the cybersecurity workforce through awards and competitions. Specifically, the executive order creates a new President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition, an annual event for federal civilian and military employees whose goal is to identify and reward the best cybersecurity practitioners. The first competition will be held by the end of the year and participants could earn cash prizes, honorary awards, time off, and other types of compensation.

The administration will also establish the Presidential Cybersecurity Education Awards, which aims to recognize elementary and secondary school educators who teach cybersecurity.

“This executive order will promote both our national and economic security. It requires the Federal Government to do more to provide access to cybersecurity skills training, to identify the most-skilled cybersecurity workers, and to advance career opportunities in the public and private sectors,” Trump said.

He added, “It also requires the Federal Government to strengthen America’s cybersecurity workforce by making the best use of individuals’ cybersecurity knowledge, skills, and abilities and by enhancing their education and training opportunities. These actions will enable more Americans to secure well-paying jobs that grow our Nation’s wealth and increase our security.”

The Trump administration last year announced the release of the 2018 National Cyber Strategy, which describes plans for protecting the country against cyber threats and strengthening its cyber capabilities.

In 2017, the president signed an executive order to improve the protection of federal networks and critical infrastructure against cyberattacks.

Related: Trump's Cybersecurity Executive Order a Positive Step, but Just a Start

Related: Does Trump Executive Order Threaten EU/US Business? Probably Not.

Related: Obama Signs Executive Order Authorizing Sanctions to Combat Cyberattacks

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.