CISA director Easterly eyes more preparatory approach to dealing with cybercrime

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) director Jen Easterly has said she wants the CISA to focus on preparing for hacks instead of just managing the fallout.

According to Cyberscoop, Easterly described it as wanting to ‘spend less time putting out fires and more time preparing for incidents in an attempt to reduce their impact’.

Earlier in August, Easterly helped set up the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative, which is a government-backed initiative that brings on board a range of network security firms such as Microsoft and Google Cloud in the US to drill for cyberattacks within the government.

Easterly said the goal of the program is to ensure that CISA, critical infrastructure firms, the FBI and other organisations are coordinated in responding to a major hack.

The CISA head said that the agency now aims to hire personnel who can reverse engineer malware and run analytics on hacks as well as find recruits who aren’t technical by training but are versatile enough to be assets in other ways.

Easterly claimed that she really wants to send a signal that CISA is not a ‘lumbering government bureaucracy’.

She also highlighted that CISA aims to spend a ‘good portion’ of the $650m it will receive from the Biden Administration to improve its ability to hunt on federal civilian networks for malicious code. Earlier this year, the National Defense Authorisation Act that became law authorises CISA to ‘comb’ agencies’ networks for threats without any advanced notice.

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