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DHS Cyber Workforce to Get Boost

Philip Reitinger, DHS; Photo: DHS.gov

Fresh off a proposed White House cybersecurity plan that would give Department of Homeland officials authority over federal civilian networks, DHS announced it will ramp up its cyber workforce, according to a Federal Times report.

The department plans to beef up its cyber personnel from 260 to 400 workers, by October 2012, Philip Reitinger, deputy undersecretary of DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate, said during Senate testimony this week.

“DHS will be the new sheriff in cyber town that we need,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman ( I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

As part of its sheriff duties, DHS will be responsible for designating critical infrastructure and maintaining information about the private-sector’s cyber response plans, Federal Times reports.

Meanwhile, Reitinger announced plans last week to step down from his DHS post June 3.

“With significant progress having been made …  with growing recognition of DHS’s roles and authorities and the cybersecurity legislative proposal now delivered to the Hill, it’s a logical point for me to leave the Department of Homeland Security and allow the team that we have developed together to carry our initiatives forward,” Reitinger wrote in a letter to DHS employees.

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