If there is one lesson to be learned from the recent OPM breach it is this: the United States government sorely needs to recruit top-notch cyber security talent (emphasis added):

That illustrates one reason cybersecurity, or more accurately cyber-insecurity as shown by the Office of Personnel Management data breach, remains on the Government Accountability Office’s 2015 high-risk list. “Although steps have been taken to close critical skills gaps in the cybersecurity area,” GAO says, “it remains an ongoing problem and additional efforts are needed to address this issue government-wide.”

Part of that effort should be recruiting bright, creative and eager folks like those in the Knights. Recruiters also should look for older cyber experts with valuable experiences. During a Federal Diary conversation with two Knight team members, it was clear they are impressed with the government’s mission, even while noting shortcomings in Sam’s recruiting efforts.

Kevin DiClemente, for example, recalled a recruiting call he received from the National Security Agency. Secrecy being endemic to the NSA, the caller ID indicated an unknown number. That might make sense for the agency’s regular business, but it’s not the best way to get recruiting calls answered. DiClemente mentioned the unknown number to the NSA recruiter, and, to the agency’s credit, subsequent calls were not cloaked in that level of secrecy.

Jason Cooper, another team member, said he had not considered a public-sector career before the collegiate competition. He encouraged government recruiters to increase school visits.