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Endgame's Artemis desktop. (Screenshot: Endgame)

With Russia, China, Iran and North Korea on the loose, experienced and knowing cyber-security hands are among the world's most sought-after workers. The trouble is that there are not nearly enough of them — estimates are that the U.S. alone could use 200,000 more cyber experts to protect the country's private and public computers. And half or fewer of those applying are not qualified, according to a survey by ISACA, an industry association.

Meet Artemis, an intelligent chatbot launched this year by Endgame, a Virginia-based cyber security firm that has worked most closely with the U.S. intelligence agencies.

Why it matters: Hyrum Anderson, Endgame's lead data scientist, says Artemis (screenshot above) is a shortcut to closing the gap between inexperienced "Tier 1" computer analysts and top-flight but comparatively few "Tier 3" professionals, who know the field.

  • The volume of potentially malicious alerts is "staggering, so a real threat can be lost in the noise," Anderson tells Axios.
  • But by typing questions using natural English into Artemis, a relatively new cyber security analyst can conduct a sophisticated investigation of a vast computer system. "Our customers are trying to protect their systems with limited resources," he said.

Be smart: The yawning shortage of professionals, propelled by a wildly active hacking community — such as BadRabbit, the most recent ransomware attack — is global. There will be 3.5 million unfilled cyber-security jobs by 2021, forecasts CyberSecurity Ventures, an industry newsletter. The labor shortage includes the West and on into India, Japan and China.

Go deeper

8 Senate Democrats vote against adding $15 minimum wage to COVID relief

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Eight Democratic senators on Friday voted against Sen. Bernie Sanders' amendment to ignore a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian and add a $15 minimum wage provision to the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

The state of play: The vote was held open for hours on Friday afternoon — even after every senator had voted — due to a standoff in negotiations over the next amendments that the Senate will take up.

CDC: Easing mask mandates led to higher COVID cases and deaths

Customer at a supermarket chain in Austin, Texas. Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Easing mask restrictions and on-site dining have increased COVID-19 cases and deaths, according to a study out Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The report's findings converge with actions from governors this week easing mask mandates and announcing plans to reopen nonessential businesses like restaurants.