Senate Confirms New CISA Head Following Latest Ransomware Attack
The US Senate unanimously confirmed Jen Easterly as the new permanent head of the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
Easterly served in the Army for 20 years, worked in the Obama White House for the National Security Administration, and most recently, the head of global cybersecurity at Morgan Stanley. She was appointed with the full support of the Senate on July 11.
She will be the second official head of CISA since the organization was created in 2018, following the firing of former Director Chris Krebs in November 2020. Easterly will be taking the reins from Acting Director Brandon Wales.
CISA, which falls under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security, has been instrumental in combatting the recent cyber attacks and threats, ranging from SolarWinds to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware. DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas issued a statement highlighting his approval of Easterly’s appointment.
“I congratulate Jen Easterly on her confirmation as Director of CISA. Jen is a brilliant cybersecurity expert and a proven leader with a career spanning military service, civil service, and the private sector. I am proud to welcome her to the DHS team and look forward to working together to protect our country from urgent cybersecurity and physical threats,” Mayorkas said in the statement.
Asserting his support on the Senate floor, Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) highlighted the recent Kaseya ransomware attack as a motivating factor for pushing her appointment as quickly as possible, The Hill reported.
“These attackers will stop at nothing to infiltrate our networks, and we urgently need qualified, Senate-confirmed cybersecurity leaders in place to fight back,” Peters was quoted in The Hill. “With more than three decades of cybersecurity expertise in the public and private sectors, Ms. Easterly is more than qualified to lead CISA.”