Here’s what ‘Shmoocon 2016,’ the D.C. hackerfest, tells us about the cybersecurity industry

From: The Washington Post

By Aaron Gregg

Hackers from around the globe gather at the Washington Hilton each year for Shmoocon, a hacker conference in its 12th year.


But the crowd’s absurdities make it easy to forget that these are some of the most sought-after professionals in business, government and war. Over the past few years costly and highly-public instances of data theft have driven huge corporations to give cybersecurity professionals C-suite representation for the first time. And there’s a massive dearth of trained cybersecurity professionals, even in the Washington area: a 2015 report from market research firm Burning Glass found almost 50,000 open positions for cybersecurity professionals across the country with an advertised average salary of $83,934.

As a result, conferences like Shmoocon have become central nodes where corporate and government recruiters find cyber talent. Local economic development boosters are targeting cybersecurity as a growth sector for the region, hoping they can capitalize on the steady stream of specialized talent that spills out the region’s military and intelligence agencies.

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