DHS shakeup includes new cybersecurity post

Share this article:

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday unveiled a reorganization plan for his agency that includes a new assistant secretary for cybersecurity and telecommunications.

The new position will be responsible for identifying and assessing the vulnerability of the critical telecommunications infrastructure, providing timely threat data, and leading national response to cyber and telecommunications attacks.

Several lawmakers and industry groups had called for elevating the role of cybersecurity in the agency, arguing that it was too buried in the bureacracy to be very effective. The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) was among those applauding Chertoff's announcement.

"ITAA has called for the creation of a cybersecurity czar for more than five years," ITAA President Harris Miller said in a statement. "We think the challenges of cybersecurity are special and different, and we are gratified that DHS Secrectary Michael Chertoff shares that view."

Tiffany Jones, government relations manager at Symantec, said the new position "will be a tremendous asset for developing a coordinated, national approach to address the myriad of information security challenges that individuals and enterprises face today."

The elevated cybersecurity post is part of an agency-wide restructuring plan that aims to ensure DHS' policies, operations and structures are best aligned to address potential national threats.

"DHS must base its work on priorities driven by risk," Chertoff said. "Our goal is to maximize our security, but not security at any price. Our security regime must promote Americans' freedom, prosperity, mobility, and individual privacy."

Other proposed changes include a new directorate of policy to centralize and improve policy development and coordination, and a new office of intellience and analysis to improve information sharing.

www.dhs.gov

Share this article:

Sign up to our newsletters

More in News

Russian hacker Seleznev ordered to remain in custody

Roman Seleznev's attorneys requested that the hacker be released on bond, but their pleas were rejected this past week.

Bug in iOS Instagram app fixed, impacts Facebook accounts

The vulnerability comes into play when Instagram users search for Facebook friends to "follow."

AP denied security docs on HealthCare.gov, a risk to private information

AP denied security docs on HealthCare.gov, a risk ...

The Associated Press was denied a request made under the Freedom of Information Act for documents that contain security information on HealthCare.gov.