Five Critical Cyber Questions for the Next DHS Chief

By Jessica Herrera-Flanigan

July 12, 2013

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's announcement today that she plans to leave the department raises interesting questions for what is next for the government's cybersecurity efforts. She, along with recently-departed Deputy Secretary Jane Hall Lute, dedicated a significant amount of resources and time to making cybersecurity a priority for DHS.  

This effort, which began under her predecessor Michael Chertoff, showed DHS moving from its toddler years in cyber to its teenage years --  maturing, but at times a bit awkward and still trying to find its place with Congress and the private sector. Like with many teenagers, DHS has spent time showing others that it has grown up and should be treated like other adults on cyber.  

With the NSA's cybersecurity efforts potentially in limbo with the Snowden revelations -- especially as more comes to light -- DHS is in a position to be the agency that truly leads on cybersecurity. This comes at a time when threats, both national and economic, are growing and the issue is at the forefront of our national and international conversations.

So what should the next candidate for Secretary be considering?

Whoever takes over at DHS, they will face daunting cyber challenges and big shoes to fill given the progress Secretary Napolitano has made over the last four years.


By Jessica Herrera-Flanigan

July 12, 2013

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