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Senate appoints former NSA official as head of U.S. cybersecurity agency

A former NSA and White House official has been appointed head of the Agency for Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security (CISA) at a time when ransomware and other types of cyber attacks are on the rise. According to the Senate he named Jen Easterly as the second person in charge of the DHS agency Politics. CISA provides cybersecurity tools and incident response services to government networks, and also offers security advice to infrastructure operators and businesses.

Politics before reported that CISA has struggled to deal with one cyber crisis after another and that the agency does not have enough staff and too much work. It has had to deal with several intrusions in the midst of the pandemic that the bad actors have attacked the healthcare industry with. ransomware, forcing them to pay to prevent delays that could cost their lives. CISA also had to respond to the mass Hack SolarWinds that the government blames Russia, as well as ransomware attacks Colonial Pipeline, software giant Kaseya and the meat supplier JBS.

Easterly should not only lead efforts to respond to ongoing cyber attacks, but now also fall on its shoulders to ensure that CISA gains the ability to counter new threats as it comes. Prior to being appointed as the new head of the CISA, Easterly spent years as the No. 2 officer in the NSA’s counter-terrorism division and was also the senior director of the CISA’s Homeland Security for fighting terrorism under former President Barack Obama.

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