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CISA Looking to New Committee for Expert Advice on Cybersecurity

New advisory


CISA Looking to New Committee for Expert Advice on Cybersecurity

The newly-formed Cybersecurity Advisory Committee held its maiden meeting in early December. The 23-member body’s initial task is to help the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency transform its personnel into a more formidable cybersecurity force, Federal News Network reported Friday.

CISA Director Jen Easterly said she is not interested in receiving a “20-page white paper” from her agency’s new advisers. Instead, she wants concisely-written but actionable recommendations. She called on the panel’s members to avoid being just a “talking club” and instead leverage their expertise and perspective to make the nation safer.

Meanwhile, Nitin Natarajan, deputy director of CISA, told the committee that the agency could use some advice on how to take advantage of the new system to recruit top cyber talent. The agency is already harnessing a new hiring and retention program called the Cyber Talent Management System.

Some committee members were candid in saying that it will be difficult for CISA to outcompete the private sector on salaries and benefits alone. However, they agreed the agency could offer benefits like student loan relief and strong professional development tracks.

Nicole Wong, a committee member and former deputy chief technology officer in the Obama administration, said CISA should have a more equitable workplace culture, where even junior members have access to leadership. She also pointed out many technology workers who have gone from the private sector to the government are often most frustrated by the slow pace of tech delivery at many agencies.

The new advisory committee is chaired by Thomas Fanning, president and CEO of Southern Company, and vice-chaired by Ron Green, chief security officer for Mastercard.

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Category: Cybersecurity