Our long national nightmare is over…Jen Easterly has been named Director for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency.
Easterly is a graduate of the United States Military Academy (West Point) and was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. After graduating she served in the United States Army for 20 years, eventually earning two Bronze Stars. During her career in the military, she was involved in US Army Intelligence and Security Command. Afterward, she worked for the National Security Agency (NSA) in Baghdad. Easterly also personally helped establish the United States Cyber Command. She retired as a Lt. Colonel.
After her career in the military and intelligence, she joined Morgan Stanley as the global head of the company’s cybersecurity division.
It might be worth adding, in this controversial time, that Easterly was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate.
Easterly is the second person to hold the CISA Director office after Chris Krebs, and is the first woman in the role.
What is the CISA?
The CISA is a part of the Department of Homeland Security. It was founded in 2018 when the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump.
Its precursor was the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD – also a part of the Department of Homeland Security).
CISA’s primary purpose is to build up the United State’s ability to understand and manage cybersecurity and physicals risk to critical federal and state infrastructure.
There are many different divisions, or rather centers, that make up the CISA. I’ll list what those are below. First, I’d like to focus on two of the more important pieces. They are the National Cybersecurity and Communications Center (NCCIC) and the National Risk Management Center (NRMC).
The National Cybersecurity and Communications Center (NCCIC)
The NCCIC’s primary role is to provide 24×7 cyber-situational awareness, analysis, incident response, and cyber-defense capabilities to the federal government, as well as state and local governments, the private sector, and international partners.
The National Risk Management Center (NRMC)
The NRMC’s primary role is to provide planning, analysis, and collaboration center working to identify and address the most significant risks to the nation’s critical infrastructure.
The CISA also oversees within DHS the Federal Protective Service (FPS), the Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (OCIA), the Office of Cybersecurity & Communications (OC&C), and the Office of Infrastructure Protection (OIP).