Dec 9, 2021 - News

Arkansas is on the hunt for thousands of anti-hackers

An illustration of the Department of Homeland Security emblem with a "Help Wanted" sign hanging from it.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nearly 2,000 cybersecurity jobs are open in Arkansas, according to a job-tracking database funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

What's happening: The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors. Those vacancies are bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and businesses even more susceptible to hacking, Axios' Sophia Cai writes.

What we're watching: The Consortium for Cyber Innovation was announced last week by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and the Forge Institute. One of its goals is to create a talent pipeline in Arkansas for cybersecurity professionals.

Driving the news: The Department of Homeland Security recently launched a federal recruiting tool aimed at courting young, diverse talent.

  • DHS currently has about 1,500 cybersecurity-related vacancies, affecting the agency's efforts to protect the homeland.

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