Cyber Challenge to recruit next gen of cyber experts

Wednesday - 2/23/2011, 2:38pm EST

There are roughly 1 million IT specialists in the United States. But only about 1 percent of those experts are what the SANS Institute's Alan Paller calls hunters and toolmakers.

These exerts are the ones that actually hunt out vulnerabilities and create solutions.

Paller estimates that to fight the upcoming cyber wars the government will need around 20,000 skilled IT specialists.

That's where the U.S. Cyber Challenge comes into play.

GovInfo Security reports the U.S. Cyber Challenge will offer programs to encourage high school and college students with a knack for computers, mathematics and science to consider careers in IT security.

Paller warns that if we are not able to recruit and retain the most talented IT specialists we could be headed down a dangerous path.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily Cybersecurity Update brought to you by Tripwire. For more cybersecurity news, click here.