DHS names new head of US-CERT

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has named Mischel Kwon, the chief IT security technologist for the U.S. Department of Justice, as the new head of its U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT).

According to public reports, Kwon, who is also acting deputy director of IT security for the DOJ, will start as director of US-CERT on June 24, according to the DHS. Kwon, who holds a MS in computer science and graduate certificate in computer security and information assurance from George Washington University, is also an adjunct professor at GWU, where she manages the school's Cyber Defense Lab.

Kwon replaces Cheri McGuire, who left US-CERT in March. She will report to Cornelius Tate, the director of the DHS's National Cyber Security Division.

Kwon's experience includes mainframe operating system programming, security administration, network administration and software design/development. She has specialized in wireless network security, and earlier in her career was the wireless security officer for the DOJ's Justice Management Division.

“Mischel Kwon has a reputation for being very bright and for picking up new subjects quickly,” Scott Borg, director and chief economist of the non-profit U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, told SCMagazineUS.com. “In our few conversations, she impressed me as being self-confident, in touch with new developments and technically well-grounded. These are qualities we should be able to take for granted in the people who are given important government cyber-security jobs, but they have sometimes been in short supply.”

US-CERT oversees the Unites State's response to computer attacks. Founded in 2003, US-CERT cooperates with government and private concerns to collect and distribute information about cyber-related attacks.
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