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Anne Neuberger, Director of NSA Cybersecurity Directorate, Discusses Cyber Threats for Upcoming Elections

4 mins read
Anne Neuberger
Anne Neuberger

Anne Neuberger, director of the National Security Agency's (NSA) Cybersecurity Directorate and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, recently discussed details the agency's priorities to enhance election security for the upcoming polls, CBS News reported on Wednesday

"Ensuring that we, first, understood the threat. Second, that we appropriately tipped all the information we had about that threat to key partners across the U.S. government, certainly the FBI, from a counter-influence perspective, DHS from a cybersecurity of elections infrastructure perspective, and then, finally, that we would support Cyber Command, if authorized, to impose costs, if there were attempts to disrupt the election," Neuberger said. 

With NSA, Neuberger supervises efforts to prevent and counter cyber threats to the defense industrial base and national security systems. Neuberger previously served as deputy director of operations and head of NSA’s Russia small group. She won her 2020 Wash100 Award for her role in developing new counter threat policies with the agency and driving federal technology initiatives.

The recently developed directorate within NSA will strengthen its white hat mission, operationalize its vulnerability assessments and threat intelligence capabilities, facilitate information sharing with clients and collaborate with the FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Cyber Command to fight cyber adversaries.

In 2018, Neuberger worked to deter Russian threats during the 2018 midterm elections. The Cybersecurity Directorate will continue to support the public and private sectors to defend against foreign cyber threats. 

“[F]or us in the intelligence community, we're constantly watching for which adversaries may be seeking to shape a population's thinking, to shape an election and then rapidly to bring that to partners or to the private sector to ensure that they're both aware of techniques and are countering them on their platforms." 

For the upcoming elections, Neuberger noted that the most important factor is securing cyber infrastructure. The NSA will work to determine where threats are presented, the government’s vulnerabilities and structure of the federal infrastructure. 

The agency will then work to translate the analysis at the tactical level to implement network scanning and hardware or software upgrades to secure the elections and prevent attacks. 

“Our mission is an intelligence mission in a democracy, we have an obligation to ensure that the Americans we serve feel they understand the values by which we live," Neuberger concluded. 

About Wash100 

The Wash100 Award, now in its seventh year, recognizes the most influential executives in the GovCon industry as selected by the Executive Mosaic team in tandem with online nominations from the GovCon community. Representing the best of the private and public sector, the winners demonstrate superior leadership, innovation, reliability, achievement and vision.

Visit the Wash100 site to learn about the other 99 winners of the 2020 Wash100 Award. On the site, you can submit your 10 votes for the GovCon executives of consequence that you believe will have the most significant impact in 2020.