White House outlines
business incentives

A White House blog post suggested ways that the federal government could provide businesses with incentives to take cybersecurity precautions, months after President Obama’s executive order in February for better protection of physical and virtual assets.

In the post, U.S. Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel lists eight ways to encourage businesses to voluntarily adopt cybersecurity standards. These include collaborating with the insurance industry to provide cybersecurity insurance, offering federal grants, expediting government services to those who put protections in place and pushing measures to limit liability.

Daniel also suggests streamlining existing legal regulations to make it easier for participants to comply with new standards, publicly recognizing participants, allowing businesses to recover some of their cybersecurity investments and emphasizing cybersecurity research to help participants find solutions to their specific cyber problems.

What steps the administration ultimately takes depend on discussions with the industry as the government finalizes a cybersecurity framework.

— Mohana Ravindranath

I.T. employment
Businesses go online to hire freelancers

Businesses are growing increasingly comfortable using online sites to locate and hire freelance workers to supplement their tech teams.

Two Web sites allowing freelancers to both bid on tech work and complete the work online have experienced a marked boost in interest during the past year. A report from Mountain View, Calif.-based freelance staffing platform Elance — culling data from about 2.64 million freelancers on its site — showed businesses spent 335 percent more on network and security jobs on Elance this year than one year ago. Data from oDesk, a platform based in Redwood City, Calif., with 4 million freelancers, also show significant growth in interest for various tech skills. Between June and July, for instance, demand from employers for freelancers specializing in Mac OS app development grew 178 percent, and for video streaming 110 percent.

— Mohana Ravindranath