White House Reviewing National Cyber Director Role, Evaluating CISA Candidates, Other Senior Cyber Positions


Members of Congress have been questioning the White House about who in the Executive Branch is responsible in an incident such as the SolarWinds exploit. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) has said that he’s “concerned that there are new entities and there is the opportunity for duplication, confusion, and leadership, and the lack of accountability.” Checking off the Federal CISO, the head of CISA, the FBI cyber division, and the newly created office of National Cyber Director, he asked which agency should be held accountable in the event of a major attack.

One complication is the fact that not all of these positions are currently filled, including the CISA director; the National Cyber Director; the Assistant Secretary of Energy for  Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER); the State Department’s Coordinator for Cyber Issues; and four cabinet level CIOs, including those for the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The White House explains that it is still working on structuring the Cyber Directorate.