“There are brilliant graduates coming from MIT and Stanford, but they tend to be young, optimistic and insufficiently paranoid," Chief Executive of Defense.net Chris Risley told The Information. "The people who think the way we need them to think are coming out of the government or traditional government contractors.” Risley has recruited more than half his engineering department from such sources.Poaching goes on in both directions, Business Insider notes: The Pentagon regularly recruits employees from Silicon Valley's enterprise companies. And given the increase in reported cyberattacks and activity in the cybersecurity space in general, look for the back and forth between government and private companies to continue.
More Spies Needed in Silicon Valley
Increasing demand is giving cybersecurity engineers more options in terms of where and for whom to work. Where before many of the available jobs were government positions based in the Washington, D.C., area, today private companies in Silicon Valley are offering opportunities that didn’t exist before. Reporting on a story from the Information, Business Insider says engineers working for agencies like the NSA and CIA can take advantage of "fast-moving, non-bureaucratic environments" in the private sector. Besides that, they can earn better pay. In addition to security-focused companies like FireEye and Defense.net, businesses like Facebook and Google are increasingly focused on security, and so need security expertise, as well.