29 Apr 2011

FBI lacks skilled agents to protect against security intrusions, says report

A U.S. Department of Justice inspector general recently released a report regarding FBI agents and revealed that one-third lack the proper technical skills to defend against computer intrusions.

Of the 36 agents interviewed, 13 were deemed deficient in some area, while five told the inspector general’s office they viewed themselves as unqualified to protect against hacks involving national security.

According to the report, national security intrusions are the most critical priority for the FBI. Also, forensic and analytics capability of the FBI field offices is not properly prepared to support investigations regarding national security intrusions.

“One agent told us that he was assigned his first counterterrorism intrusion case but he did not know how to investigate a national security intrusion case,” said the report.

As the FBI struggles to have trained cyber security professionals in place, the outlook for the country is even more bleak. According to a report by the National Journal, the U.S. government needs 20,000 to 30,000 IT professionals to fill cyber security positions.