US Senate confirms ex-National Security Agency official as CISA director

The US Senate has confirmed Jen Easterly as the new director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

According to Cyberscoop, after she has been sworn in Easterly will be busy dealing with the aftermath of a recent spate of ransomware attacks that are currently plaguing the US.

Back in May, the Colonial Pipeline suffered a major cybersecurity incident after the DarkSide ransomware group brought operations at the site to a standstill. More recently, US nuclear weapons contractor Sol Oriens suffered a ransomware cyberattack by the REvil ransomware group.

REvil were back in the news again recently in a big way, after it was held responsible for the attack of US IT provider Kaseya – an attack labelled as the ‘one of the largest cyberattacks in history’ after it targeted over 1,000 business.

The hiring of Easterly comes at a crunch point for the US as it fights back against the cybercrime spree currently enveloping the world.

Talking about moving beyond voluntary security standards for critical infrastructure, she said, “There probably is some sort of role for making some of these standards mandatory, to include notification. I do think it’s important that if there’s a significant cyber incident, that critical infrastructure companies have to notify the federal government, in particular CISA. We have to be able to warn other potential victims.”

Easterly will join Chris Inglis, who was recently appointed as the first-ever cyber czar for the US government.

The new role will play a key part in coordinating the government response to major hacks and other cybersecurity threats in the US as well as leading the implementation of cyber policy and strategy.

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