Monday, the Senate confirmed Jen Easterly in a unanimous vote as director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Easterly has worked as a White House and NSA Official, and most recently worked as the head of Morgan Stanley’s Fusion Resilience Center. Easterly’s background in Military Intelligence, US government, and the private sector will be ideal as the US government works to handle the current ransomware crisis and implement new policy and legislation. Easterly has advocated to move beyond voluntary security standards for critical infrastructure and creating a set of mandatory standards.
The US Government has been working to establish better standards and procedures in terms of cybersecurity protocols. In the meantime, ransomware attacks against US organizations have not slowed down. Easterly will have a major challenge ahead of her to begin to combat the ransomware crisis, but the new CISA director seems to have the full support of the Senate and the President. The first hurdle will be the approval of mandatory reporting requirements as legislation has already been drafted and debated within the Senate. Easterly has extensive experience with military intelligence and has seen firsthand how US businesses have handled recent cyber-attacks. Her confirmation seems to be a move in the right direction in the ever-growing fight against ransomware.