In the next several years, the Pentagon has plans to expand its cyber security forces by a factor of five, a Washington Post article revealed yesterday. Specifically, it plans to add 4,000 individuals to its cyber security force, which currently includes 900 people.
Among those 4,000 new employees, set to come on board over several years, will be both civilians and members of the armed forces. They will be charged with three distinct types of cyber security roles, including…
- Cyber protection forces: These groups will reinforce the systems and networks used by the Defense Department.
- National mission forces: These individuals will be responsible for ensuring the security of technology that supports essential infrastructure systems in the U.S., including power plants and telephone systems.
- Combat mission forces: These groups will help strategize and execute offensive cyber attacks abroad.
Moving into an Offensive Role in Cyber Security
Perhaps the most notable change, besides the sheer number of people the Pentagon plans to hire, is the shift toward initiating attacks rather than merely defending against and reacting to them. In other words, the Pentagon is making cyber attacks an explicit part of its overall international strategy.
So what does this mean for owners of small tech firms?
1. Expect a renewed focus on information security from clients. As cyber security forces become part of the national consciousness, more and more of your clients will ask about your cyber security features. Take your cues from the Pentagon: proactively protect your business, be prepared to answer a variety of client questions, and establish adequate antivirus and firewall protections to guard your information.
2. Understand the potential effects on recruiting. While the demand for 4,000 new IT professionals won’t necessarily drain your potential pool of employees, the Pentagon’s demand for significantly more IT professionals could signal a trend around the country. As recruitment of tech-savvy employees becomes more competitive, you’ll need to offer adequate perks (such as telecommuting options, flexible work schedules, challenging assignments, and adequate benefits) to keep your team.
3. Don’t underestimate the importance of your Cyber Liability Insurance. The Pentagon is obviously bracing for a more intense cyber security landscape in the coming years. Do your business a favor and invest in adequate Cyber Liability Insurance now so you’re prepared for what lies ahead.
Writtten by Brenna Lemieux - check her out at Google+ or Twitter