Today, the House of Representatives adopted an amendment put forth by Congressman Adam Smith, which will help to strengthen our cyber security capabilities.

“Our country faces threats from numerous cyber-attacks each day,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “It is imperative that we ensure our cyber workforce not only possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to defend our networks, but also the ability to collaborate with the many departments and agencies within the Federal Government who lead the effort to combat these threats.”

Smith’s amendment to The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2009 seeks to ensure that our cyber workforce – including IT professionals at civilian agencies, who may not deal with classified information on a daily basis - has the ability to collaborate with the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and other Federal agencies on cyber-related threats that out of necessity may be classified.

Specifically, the amendment modifies Section 107 of the bill, which calls for the President to submit a report to Congress addressing the cybersecurity workforce needs of the Federal Government. The amendment requires the report to also examine the current security clearance and job suitability requirements that may currently serve as a deterrent to hiring an adequately trained cyber workforce.

The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2010 would reauthorize and expand cybersecurity research programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institute of Standards and Technology. Additionally, the measure would create a new cybersecurity scholarship program, require agencies to develop a strategic cybersecurity research plan and establish a university-industry task force to explore public-private research partnerships.