Restart the Nerd Line

As the frequency of cyber attacks has mushroomed with growing network connectivity, the number of US students graduating in the last five years with computer engineering skills has plummeted, said Air Force Chief Scientist Mark Maybury. “In 2004, we produced 20,000 computer scientists; last year, we produced 11,000. We’ve actually halved our rate of production of individuals in the country,” he said in his address at AFA’s CyberFutures Conference outside of Washington, D.C., on March 23. “I’m not talking about those who are foreigners and those who are domestic—this is total production,” he noted. At the same time, cyber attacks, viruses, and invasions have become so frequent that security companies don’t even track them all anymore, said Maybury. “There’re so frequent anymore, they’ve just stopped counting,” he said. “To summarize the situation, the adversary has become industrialized . . . whereas defense continues to remain a boutique industry, and we need to change that,” said Maybury.