Some government consultants said Homeland Security might not necessarily have to bring in more staff, but the department should retain its entire cybersecurity workforce during a shutdown.
"I think they have the adequate resources," said Patrick Burke, senior vice president in the national security sector at SRA International. "It's making sure they don't do a peanut butter spread in terms of cutting back staff."
If DHS receives reports that an attack is under way, then the department likely has the authority to hire additional personnel support, he said.
As for whether officials already are augmenting their information security staffs, "they may not want to broadcast that as it gets into [operations security]," which is the practice of safeguarding information about an enterprise that, if made public, could aid U.S. enemies, Burke added.
"We certainly hope that agency cybersecurity personnel, including contractors, have been deemed essential personnel and thus somewhat shielded from the impact of a shutdown," said Tom Conway, director of federal business development at network security firm McAfee. "In any case, McAfee's federal team continues to be available 24-7 to help agencies navigate through these uncertain times."
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