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Rep. Garbarino Highlights Cyber Workforce Shortage as Major U.S. Security Concern

During a recent event, Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.) expressed concerns about labor shortfalls in the cyber industry, highlighting it as a major threat to U.S. cybersecurity in the long run.

"If we don't address this workforce issue within the next five years, it will likely be our largest obstacle in cybersecurity," commented Garbarino.

Speaking at a Punchbowl News panel, Garbarino delved into the future prospects of cybersecurity and the role artificial intelligence (AI) could play in it.

Citing data from the cybersecurity analytics platform, Cyber Seek, he pointed out that there are currently over 570,000 unfilled positions in the cyber sector. This vacuum provides an opening for malicious entities from countries like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea to exploit and potentially compromise U.S. companies and the government.

It's not merely the number of vacancies that alarms Garbarino; it's the mounting demand for proficient individuals capable of defending against ransomware and similar threats.

This issue of workforce shortage was previously addressed by Garbarino in June at a House Homeland Security Committee subpanel meeting.

"We need not only a substantial number of workers but also individuals with the aptitude and skills tailored to tackle the escalating cyber challenges," he emphasized.

Chris Inglis, the Former National Cyber Director, acknowledged the government's efforts in filling two-thirds of the roles associated with 'cyber' and 'information technology'. However, he believes more efforts are warranted.

Garbarino suggests bridging the knowledge gap between the public and private sectors about the fast-paced advancements in AI as a part of the solution.

"Understanding AI is a daunting task since it integrates into numerous sectors, especially in the realm of cybersecurity," he noted.

Moreover, Garbarino believes that Congress can play a pivotal role by incentivizing schools to revise their curriculums to include more cyber-centric subjects.

"We should consider financially supporting schools, particularly at the K-12 level, to modify their syllabus, promoting cyber education from a young age," he proposed.


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