“Doesn’t anyone else see a problem of manpower here,” questioned Sen. Bill Cassidy

By Chris Bing

Originally published by Fedscoop

fedscoop piece

An undeniable shortage in qualified industrial control system, or ICS, cybersecurity professionals — individuals trained to defend the nation’s energy infrastructure from hackers — should cause the Department of Energy serious concern, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R.-La., told Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Patricia Hoffman during a Senate Energy & Natural Resources subcommittee hearing.

“The number of ICS professionals is severely limited, maybe 500 to 1000 worldwide, and we need tens of thousands. And that begs the question: what are we doing to address the shortage, which is exponential. What are we doing to address this critical shortfall,” Cassidy — referencing a conversation with personnel from the non-profit, Louisiana-based research institute, the Cyber Innovation Center — said.

Reg Harnish, the CEO of New York-based cybersecurity consultancy GreyCastle Security, wrote in an email to FedScoop, “finding cybersecurity experts is difficult no matter what industry you’re in, partly because it is an ultra-competitive market and partly because there are so few of them.

[But] for those entities trying to defend industrial control systems it is even more difficult.”

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation CEO Duane Highley, who also testified to the committee on Tuesday, responded to Cassidy by admitting the U.S. is experiencing a deficit.

Read the original Fedscoop article here.