Minnesota CISO on Drawing Cyber Talent to Government
Minnesota CISO Rohit Tandon explains that as cybersecurity threats grow, so does the need for staff to protect the state, and in a world of remote work, competition for skilled talent is fiercer than ever.
SEATTLE — The challenge of attracting and retaining tech talent to government work is not a new one, but it has perhaps shifted in the past 18 months.
At the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Annual Conference Monday, Minnesota CISO Rohit Tandon said that as cases of cybersecurity incidents, particularly ransomware attacks, grow, so does the need for a bigger workforce to combat them. While Minnesota IT Services already has highly skilled staff, Tandon said, it just needs more of them.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, remote work has been both a pro and a con for Minnesota IT: Telework is a draw for many potential employees, and allows the state to hire cyber experts outside the capital in St. Paul. But the same can be said for private companies looking for talent that may be drawn away from government.
State CIO Tarek Tomes shared similar thoughts about the benefits and drawbacks of hiring in a post-pandemic world. He said what will be key to bolstering the state workforce, including cybersecurity staff, is the lure of the public sector’s mission.