Threat Management

CISA struggling from lack of direction, cohesiveness

Four years after its founding, insiders and people with knowledge of the inner workings of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency say the agency has had a disappointing run due to factors including lack of direction from leadership, according to CyberScoop. Established within the Department of Homeland Security as a replacement for the National Protection and Programs Directorate, CISA was tasked to lead cybersecurity efforts across the federal government and guide the private sector in safeguarding the nations critical infrastructure and systems from state-sponsored threat actors. However, past and current employees say staff are not made aware of leaders strategies and priorities and oftentimes learn about them through public channels such as Twitter. Front-line employees would benefit from having a consistent directional strategy, said former CISA senior adviser Beau Woods, who noted that top officials have not been providing clear outcomes or a clear understanding of what good looks like. Other factors that are allegedly hampering CISAs effectiveness are tensions between employees and Director Jen Easterly, who has been accused of being more focused on developing her public image, and the numerous divisions within the agency that prevented the creation of a centralized database and technical infrastructure, according to sources.

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