Through a speech at the Global Cybersecurity Conference in Washington, D.C. sponsered by the U.S Secret Service, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke about DHS’ centralization of cybersecurity. Phil Reitinger, recently appointed the deputy undersecretary of the National Protections Program Directorate for the DHS will aide in management overhaul of cybersecurity at DHS, Napolitano said.
“If the question is who at DHS do you call, it’s going to be Phil or someone who works for him…One thing we have done is to take cyber and elevate its prominence within the department and concentrate all key personnel decisions and the like about cyber under one person, Phil, who reports to an undersecretary, who reports directly to me. So you have a command and control structure that elevates cyber within all of the many threats DHS has to deal with,” Napolitano said.
Napolitano acknowledged in her speech that the Bush structure of cybersecurity was too outdated and undefined to continue under the Obama Administration.”When I came into the department, I think it’s fair to say we were not organized sufficiently where cybersecurity is concerned,” said Napolitano.
Napolitano also believes the Secret Service will play a key role in the future DHS cybersecurity, and that a new recruitment plan for cybersecurity experts is needed at the department.”Our goal at DHS, quite frankly, between Phil’s efforts and the Secret Service’s efforts is to be the repository for cybersecurity and to recruit the best minds in the country.” “”How do we build capacity to keep ahead of the bad guys? How do we get creative and think about not just what they’ve done, but what they will do next and next and next? And then how do we share those ideas so we are not chronically playing catch up where the cyber field is concerned?”