Coordinating interagency efforts to train aspiring cybersecurity specialists, federal employees and the public on data protection is a tall order for Ernest McDuffie, the lead manager for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. Activities to promote safe Web surfing habits include a public awareness campaign, formal cybersecurity education programs, federal workforce training and a new Internet ID system. McDuffie is tracking agencies’ progress on all this schooling.
“The problem of training and cybersecurity awareness is bigger than any one agency,” he says. “My job has been to figure out what is going on [inside each program] and to bring the tracks into a single unified initiative.”
Perhaps the hardest part of the monitoring is defining progress in the burgeoning field of cyber-security education. Indeed, one of McDuffie’s goals is to develop performance benchmarks. “The measure is going to be, how is behavior changing across the country for the better,” he says. “We’re in the process right now of developing a comprehensive strategic plan that will lay out the beginnings of those types of metrics.”
The strategy is due at the White House in March.