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Trump Nominates New DHS Assistant Cybersecurity Leader


President Trump has nominated Bryan Ware, one of top cyber officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to assume the mantle of assistant director of the agency’s cybersecurity unit.

Ware would take over the position from Jeanette Manfra, who plans to step down on December 31, 2019. Manfra, one of the most senior and experienced U.S. cybersecurity officials who served as assistant director for cybersecurity at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), reportedly will join Google’s cloud division as global director of security and compliance on its security team.

Ware will be in charge of leading DHS/CISA efforts to defend and strengthen critical infrastructure against cyberattacks. He currently serves as the assistant secretary for cyber, infrastructure, and resilience policy, responsible for leading DHS policy development to support department-wide efforts to reduce national risks. Ware focuses on critical infrastructure cybersecurity, federal network security, countering cyber-crime, and improving the security and resilience of the global cyber ecosystem.

Prior to entering the public sector, he founded an artificial intelligence company in 1998 and holds multiple patents in artificial intelligence and mobile technology.

In his new job Ware will have big shoes to fill. Manfra, in the course of her 12-year tenure, served DHS in multiple positions, ranging from advisor for the assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications and deputy director, Office of Emergency Communications, during which time she led the department’s efforts in establishing the nationwide public safety broadband network. She also represented DHS at cybersecurity conferences such as RSA and DEF Con as part of her role as chief liaison to the private sector and Congress on cyber threats to the U.S., election security and risks to critical infrastructure.

House Homeland Security Committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) told The Hill in a statement that Ware was taking on an “enormous” role. "As cyber threats grow more sophisticated and technology evolves, we will look to the assistant director to lead federal efforts to secure the .gov and help owners and operators of critical infrastructure defend their networks from bad actors," he said. "Importantly, the assistant director will play a crucial role in delivering cybersecurity support to state and local election officials as they prepare to administer the 2020 Presidential elections. We wish Bryan Ware luck as he undertakes this important role and look forward to working with him."

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.