Task Forces around the country to prevent, detect, investigate and mitigate attacks on that infrastructure.
Gen. Nally’s biggest challenge is hiring enough qualified
people. He has about 50 vacancies, 20 percent of which
he estimates are in the cyber realm. The general says he is
authorized a staff of 222 administrative, professional and
technical personnel and about 200 contractors who provide
communications and information technology support,
including operating and defending the network.
“When we do national special security events, I actually
deploy anywhere between 70 to 100 bodies. If you take 100
bodies deployed minus the vacancies, you can do the math
and see what I’m left with. But the mission comes first, and
we’ve always been very successful supporting communications, IT and cybersecurity for those events,” he says.
Competition for technically astute personnel is fierce
in Washington as various government departments and
agencies vie with the private sector for talent. While Gen.
Nally is looking primarily for people with college degrees
and professional experience, he also welcomes applications
from college interns.
Scandals that have rocked the Secret Service in recent
years have not seriously affected the ability to hire technical
professionals, in part, because the agency has made improve-
ments, he says. He stresses the importance of the mission. “If
you work for the Secret Service, you go home at night feeling
like there’s value to your job because of the mission and the
dedication of the people here,” Gen. Nally declares. “I’d say 50
percent of the job is operational, which I really enjoy. I’m not
just up here writing policy and governance.”
The general stresses that the Secret Service makes for an easy
transition for military personnel and is a great place to work.
Almost as if to illustrate the point, he walks through the halls
greeting every person by name and sharing a friendly, light-hearted rapport with each one. “I’m fascinated with the mission and the people, the dedication and the focus to accomplish the mission. It’s the premier law enforcement agency in
the world,” Gen. Nally says.
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