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Senate Unanimously Approves Jen Easterly as CISA Director; DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Quoted

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Jen Easterly
Jen Easterly Incoming Director CISA

Jen Easterly, President Joe Biden's nominee for the director position at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), was confirmed in a unanimous Senate vote Monday.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, described Easterly as a cybersecurity professional with military, civil service and industry experience and noted that they will work together in efforts to address urgent cyber and physical threats to critical U.S. infrastructure.

Easterly, the second Senate-confirmed director of CISA since the agency was formed in 2018, has led Morgan Stanley's Fusion Resilience Center since January 2020 and established the financial services company's Cybersecurity Fusion Center when she came to the firm in 2017.

She held a two-decade career at the U.S. Army, where she stood up the military branch's first cyber battalion, and served at the National Security Agency (NSA) as deputy for counterterrorism.

CNN reports Easterly will take the helm at CISA amid the series of growing cybersecurity and ransomware attacks plaguing national security and targeting vital industries such as food, gas and transportation.

In December 2020, federal agencies, including the Departments of Commerce, Energy and Homeland Security, experienced data breaches after a cyberattack on the SolarWinds’ Orion Network Management products. 

On May 7th, a ransomware incident affected the refined gas delivery operations of Colonial Pipeline and led to fuel shortages at airports and gas stations on the East Coast.