The Obama administration has given a green light to the Homeland Security Department to be more competitive and choosey as it hires up to 1,000 new cyber experts over the next three years, the first major personnel move to fulfill its vow to bolster security of the nation’s computer networks.
The announcement follows a wave of cyber attacks on federal agencies, including a July assault that knocked government Web sites off the Internet and earlier intrusions into the country’s electrical grid.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who made the announcement on Thursday, said the hiring plan reflects the Obama administration’s commitment to improving cyber security. The move gives DHS officials far greater flexibility to hire whom they want, outside of more stringent federal guidelines. And it will also allow more latitude in pay.
As a result, Napolitano told an audience of cyber industry professionals, the new rules “will allow us to be competitive with you all” in luring quality applicants.