Virginia looks to double cybersecurity workforce

Virginia plans to nearly double its cybersecurity workforce, according to the state’s chief information officer.

In a video interview at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers midyear conference in Baltimore, Nelson Moe said the state would establish a center focused on cybersecurity and helping state agencies with audits and security issues that could come up.

The Information Technology Shared Security Center will be staffed by 14 new cyber professionals — jobs created under the Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s biennium budget, which he signed Friday. The budget also allocates $4 million to the center. It will operate within Moe’s Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

“We are moving forward with a plan to add a cybersecurity service to help the agencies in the commonwealth where we’ll provide a bank of people that are funded to help [agencies] with their audits and security issues,” Moe said. “We’re going to essentially double our cybersecurity staff.”

Moe told StateScoop that while the state has not been up against some of the workforce hiring and retention issues that some other states have faced, he expects that with the increase in cyber positions, he will begin to face those challenges.

“I think the common theme will be trying to hire, retain and attract a cybersecurity workforce,” Moe said. “I know people have a hard time hiring and retaining [cybersecurity staff], I’m guessing I will, but so far so good.”

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