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Taiwan’s government agencies badly in need of cybersecurity experts

Unsound rules, IT skills gap render public sector short-handed in cybersecurity talent

(Unsplash photo)

(Unsplash photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Government agencies at both the central and local levels in Taiwan are facing an acute labor shortage in the information security sector.

The Cyber Security Management Act (資通安全管理法) went into force in January 2019 in line with the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration’s pivoted focus toward cybersecurity. However, three years later, the public sector has been largely ill-equipped with full-time employees who are professionals in the relevant fields.

IT capacity has been a weak link in Taiwan’s government workforce and the sensitivity of the issue means complex regulations for required personnel on different levels, Liberty Times said, citing Cabinet officials.

Flawed rules are also to blame for the lagging recruitment of needed staff, wrote Watchout, an independent media outlet. The Cyber Security Management Act fails to clearly define the criteria for a chief information security officer (CISO), making it difficult to hire qualified persons to head cybersecurity units, pointed out Hung Po-yue (洪柏岳), director-general of the Taiwan Information Security Association.

The Cabinet has advised employing contract workers and commissioning the work to IT companies as an expedient solution for now. A sounder IT workforce plan for government agencies will be proffered by the new Ministry of Digital Affairs, reportedly slated for establishment in August.