DHS names new leadership for NCCIC

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The Department of Homeland Security is reorganizing the leadership around its cybersecurity efforts, the agency announced Monday.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson appointed Andy Ozment, the assistant secretary in DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate’s Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, to lead the oversight of the National Cybersecurity Communications Integration Center.

The center, better known as NCCIC, is the government’s cybersecurity information sharing, incident response and coordination hub, communicating with state-level information sharing and analysis centers (ISACs) on cybersecurity risks.

Andy Ozment
Andy Ozment

Johnson also chose John Felker, previously the director of cyber and intelligence strategy for HP Enterprise Services, to head the day-to-day operations of the NCCIC.

“Dr. Ozment and Mr. Felker will provide a combination of operational experience, leadership, and strategic insight needed to take the NCCIC to the next level for our cybersecurity,” Johnson said in a release.

Under the reorganization, the NCCIC will have a direct incident-reporting line to Johnson. Additionally, the secretary has ordered the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) to develop a plan “that will ensure the NCCIC is focused on strengthening our operational capabilities for mitigating and responding to cyber incidents,” he said.

Homeland Security has taken numerous actions to boost the country’s cybersecurity stance over the past year. In February, DHS announced the creation of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, an organization dedicated to collecting, analyzing and distributing information throughout the government to identify and stop major cyberattacks.

As part the White House’s cybersecurity sprint, Johnson announced that the most advanced version of the Einstein intrusion detection system – known as Einstein 3 Accelerated, or E3A – will be available to all federal civilian agencies by the end of 2015.

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