We consistently comment about the importance of educating the next generation of students on cybersecurity. The earlier the better, as far as I am concerned-as early as the third grade. There is a dearth of cybersecurity talent in the U.S. and it is one of the fastest growing fields for job  opportunities.

Because cybersecurity is still a developing field, there are different definitions of jobs and roles that are not consistently applied across industries and organizations. To help decipher those differences, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a resource for U.S. employers to assist them in “more effectively identify, recruit, develop and maintain cybersecurity talent.”

The draft publicationNICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework is basically a dictionary that will help organizations define roles, and “share information in a detailed, consistent and descriptive way.”

The guide is designed to help develop training standards and individual career planning. It is reacting to the fact that most organizations do not have a good handle on what cybersecurity tasks are being performed by many members of their workforce. The framework “can help an organization identify cybersecurity tasks within a work role that are vital to its mission and then examine if its current staff can perform those tasks and, if not, hire staff who can.”

The framework has seven high level categories of more than 30 specialty areas which include 50 work roles. “Legal Advice and Advocacy is one of them—whew!

Comments to the Framework can be given until January, 6, 2017.