LEXINGTON, Ky., Wednesday, March 15, 2023—today, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) National Governors Association (NGA) released the Securing States: Modernizing to Attract and Retain Cyber Talent. The publication is a culmination of a partnership between NASCIO and NGA, which started in 2022, to assist states in identifying the concrete actions they can take now to bridge the cybersecurity workforce gap. NASCIO and NGA convened Governors’ policy advisors, state information technology and cybersecurity leaders, workforce professionals and other experts to provide a forum for sharing experiences and best practices. This publication details the current state of play and summarizes the insights aggregated during this meeting, as well as previous related efforts by NASCIO and NGA to facilitate discussion on this topic.
“State cybersecurity workforce challenges have reached crisis levels in some states and is a major concern for all state CIOs,” said Stephanie Dedmon, NASCIO president and CIO for Tennessee. “NASCIO is glad to partner with NGA and other strategic partners to help address this critical issue.”
The publication includes several examples from states who are using creative methods to address the cybersecurity workforce challenge. The publication also includes specific recommendations for states to take now:
- States need to focus on effective marketing and branding of state government as an employer of choice, their mission-driven work and the unique benefits they offer.
- States must adapt to the enduring impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by modernizing the working environment to include flexible schedules, offering remote and work from home (WFH) options and focusing on addressing burnout and employees’ mental and emotional well-being.
- States must focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) in their recruitment, hiring and retention practices.
- States need to collaborate with key tech and cybersecurity stakeholders, including the private sector, academia, nonprofit organizations, the federal government, minority-serving institutions and professional associations, to provide development opportunities and build workforce pipelines.
- States should rework position descriptions to reflect industry-standard job titles and reduce barriers to entry, such as outdated or unnecessary requirements.
The publication can be found on NASCIO’s website: www.NASCIO.org.
Director of Policy and Research
National Association of State Chief Information Officers