The Cyber Command Reorganization
A recent development in the world of Cyber Security will have far reaching and positive effects on protecting the network assets of the United States Military. The Cyber Security efforts of the Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense (under the Defense Information Systems Agency) are now merged under one unified command – The Cyber Command.
Civilian Cyber Security efforts for civilian and non Department of Defense Agencies remain under the control of the Department of Homeland Security and will remain that way in the foreseeable future.
The United States Cyber Command was officially activated 21 May 2010 at Fort Meade, Maryland and is slated to reach fully operational readiness in 2010 and DISA will physically relocate to Fort Meade under the provisions of the Base Reduction and Closing Commission (BRAC). Fort Meade Maryland is the home of the National Security Agency (NSA).
Cyber Command is led by National Security Agency Director General Keith B. Alexander. The command will assume responsibility for several existing organizations under one leadership.
The Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations (JTF-GNO) and the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare will be dissolved by October 2010. The Defense Information Systems Agency, where JTF-GNO now operates, will provide technical assistance for network and information assurance to Cybercom, and will be moving its headquarters to Ft. Meade.
Although there are concerns that the Pentagon and NSA will overshadow any civilian Cyber defense efforts, this prospect is unlikely given Congressional oversight and public media coverage.
Cyber Command will be responsible for DOD’s networks – the dot-mil world. Responsibility for federal civilian networks – dot-gov – stays with the Department of Homeland Security.
The goal of the reorganization under Cyber Command is the streamlining of lines of authority to enable Cyber defense, immediate counter attacks and offensive operations to reduce the effect of domestic and international Cyber attacks,
Opportunity for Cyber Security Jobs
The Cyber Command reorganization and consolidation creates significant employment opportunities for Cyber Security professionals and, equally important, has the potential to allow for easier and more rapid facilitation of high level security clearances.
Training and certification is now a mandatory requirement for employment. Whereas in the beginning of the computer industry, many people specializing in cyber security or network security were self-taught.
But now that these issues have come to the attention of a wider public – including business and government – academic degree and training programs in cyber security and network security are available from many colleges, universities, and other academic institutions.
Because of these requirements and the growing awareness of the importance of Cyber Security, demand for experts has increased dramatically. Most marketing researchers believe that the Cyber Security market will see annual double digit growth at least until 2014 and beyond. This growth and resultant demand for Cyber professionals will result in premium wages and benefits for Cyber Professionals.
Another employment benefit of the Cyber Command reorganization is the potential for easier access to higher-level security clearances that command even better salaries and benefits.
Because the DISA organization adds a strong base of technical expertise to Cyber Command and only requires a Top Secret security clearance, the opportunity to reduce the obstacles to gaining the higher-level clearances required becomes apparent. Since most of the time and effort to obtain a TS/SCI clearance is involved with the initial Top Secret clearance, a ready pool of candidates is available for the lifestyle polygraph required for the high level clearance.
If a candidate already has a Top Secret clearance, job opportunities at DISA can be taken while pursuing the remainder of the high-level clearance process.