Officials applaud Mayorkas’ confirmation as DHS secretary over cybersecurity concerns



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Key members of Congress and other cyber-focused officials applauded Senate confirmation on Tuesday Alejandro mayorkasAlejandro MayorkasUSA, payroll agency targeted by Chinese hackers: Biden report on immigration orders: “I eliminate bad policies” Hillicon Valley: Bezos quits as Amazon CEO | Officials applaud Mayorkas’ confirmation as DHS secretary | Uber buys Drizly PLUS alcohol delivery service as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), citing the need for his leadership following the hack of the SolarWinds computer group.

The The Senate confirmed Mayorkas by a 56-43 vote Tuesday after a major Republican crackdown on immigration issues, but he garnered bipartisan praise for his cybersecurity experience, including his experience as DHS deputy secretary under the Obama administration.

“Mr. Mayorkas is a seasoned DHS veteran with bipartisan support who has the experience and experience we need right now,” said the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Bennie thompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonHillicon Valley: Bezos Leaves Amazon CEO | Officials applaud Mayorkas’ confirmation as DHS secretary | Uber buys liquor delivery service Drizly officials applaud Mayorkas’ confirmation as DHS secretary on cybersecurity concerns Fallout from the Capitol Uprising: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? MORE (D-Miss.) Said in a statement after the Senate vote. “His in-depth work on immigration, cybersecurity and counterterrorism issues makes him uniquely qualified to ensure the country remains resilient and secure.

A key issue Mayorkas will immediately face is dealing with the fallout from the SolarWinds software piracy by Russian agents, much of the federal government, including DHS, compromised with up to 18,000 national and international groups.

The hack, first discovered in December, lasted for over a year and was cited as one of the biggest cyber incidents in US history. The attack can be even worse than previously feared, with Reuters reports Chinese hackers separately added malicious code to SolarWinds software on Tuesday, with at least one component of the Agriculture Ministry compromised.

Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee John katkoJohn Michael KatkoUs Payroll Agency Targeted By Chinese Hackers: Hillicon Valley Report: Bezos Resigns As CEO Of Amazon | Officials applaud Mayorkas’ confirmation as DHS secretary | Uber buys liquor delivery service Republicans at Drizly House prepare for conference amid party civil war READ MORE (RN.Y.) highlighted the SolarWinds violation by congratulating Mayorkas on his confirmation on Tuesday.

“Our internal security, our economic security and our way of life continue to be threatened in unprecedented ways by highly sophisticated adversaries,” Katko said in a statement. “In the wake of one of the most dangerous cyber attacks our country has ever seen, I urge Secretary Mayorkas to work with Congress, across party lines, to close the troubling gaps in cybersecurity posture of our country.

In the Senate, key leaders involved in the Mayorkas nomination hearing also cited the need to respond to the violation by praising Mayorkas’ confirmation.

“Mr. Mayorkas is a proven leader and has the experience to protect the American people from harm,” said the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. Gary PetersGary PetersHillicon Valley: Bezos to step down as CEO of Amazon | Officials applaud Mayorkas’ confirmation as DHS secretary | Uber buys liquor delivery service Drizly officials applaud Mayorkas’ confirmation as DHS secretary for cybersecurity issues The Hill’s Morning Report – Brought to you by Facebook – Which way will Democrats take on the bill COVID-19? MORE (D-Mich.) Said Tuesday before the Senate, citing threats such as “cyber attacks by foreign adversaries” among the problems Mayorkas would face in power.

His. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) Hassan Officials applaud Mayorkas’ confirmation as DHS cybersecurity secretary: Peters leading Senate Democratic campaign arm Moderates pledge to ‘be a force’ under Biden MORE (DN.H.), member of the Senate panel on internal security, stressed the need for leadership confirmed by the Senate in an agency responsible for “keeping our country safe, secure and free”.

“Between the foreign and domestic terrorist threats and SolarWinds’ cybersecurity breach, it’s crucial that we have someone heading the department with the expertise and determination to tackle these challenges and more,” said Hassan in a press release. “Secretary Mayorkas’ leadership experience and deep understanding of a variety of national security threats will serve him well in this role.”

Mayorkas himself is committed to making cybersecurity a key priority as secretary. DHS includes the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the main federal agency responsible for securing critical infrastructure, including elections.

President Biden has yet to officially announce his choice to lead CISA, which has not been confirmed by the Senate since President TrumpGeorgia Secretary of State opens investigation into Lin Wood over allegations of illegal voting Schiff presses Newsom to be named California AG: reports Capitol Constable Brian Sicknick is lying in honor to Rotunda MORE sacked Christopher Krebs, then director of CISA, in November.

“I can assure you that our nation’s cybersecurity will be one of my highest priorities as I agree with you that the threat is real and the threat is every day and that we need to do a better job than what we are currently doing, “Mayorkas said during his nomination hearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs last month.

Mayorkas also enjoys the support of cybersecurity officials, with Politico Reports in December, more than three dozen former bipartisan federal cyber leaders signed a letter urging the Senate Homeland Security Committee to quickly confirm Mayorkas.

“Well known and respected within the cyber community, Mr. Mayorkas possesses the intelligence, integrity and skills to take leadership and protect our homeland’s assets – physical and cyber in the wild from day one.” , wrote the executives. group comprising former CISA deputy director Matthew Travis and General Keith Alexander, former head of the National Security Agency and US Cyber ​​Command.

Suzanne Spaulding, former director of the agency that predated CISA, also signed the letter and says The Hill last week, she was hopeful that Mayorkas would be quickly confirmed to give the DHS leadership he needs to tackle cybersecurity issues.

“I really call on the Senate to act quickly to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas, with whom I worked closely when I was at DHS and who will be a great secretary … this is of crucial importance,” said said Spaulding. “The men and women of DHS will continue to do what they can, but there is only so much they can do without leadership confirmed by the Senate.



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