State's chief security official to head DHS cyber division


The State Department’s top security chief is leaving his post to oversee a newly created cybersecurity division at the Department of Homeland Security.

John Streufert will replace Nicole Dean as director of DHS’ National Cyber Security Division on Jan. 17, where he will be tasked to build and maintain an “effective cyberspace response system” and implement a program for protecting critical infrastructure, DHS’ Roberta Stempfley said in an email Friday to employees within the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications. Streufert will also work to strengthen DHS’ partnerships with the private sector and international organizations.

“Although Nicole is leaving rather large shoes to fill, there is no doubt that John’s range of experience will also bring vast knowledge and innovation to the NCSD organization,” Stempfley said in the email.

The move comes as the administration works to strengthen DHS’ role in cybersecurity. Under the White House cybersecurity proposal, DHS would have the lead in protecting dot-gov domains and be a key liaison with the private sector. The proposal would also require critical infrastructure firms to adhere to cybersecurity guidelines created by industry and approved by DHS.

DHS will also play a major role in the administration’s Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) by coordinating automated continuous monitoring of industry cloud solutions.

Streufert’s success in improving cybersecurity at State makes him an ideal candidate for the director position. He has served as the department’s chief information security officer and deputy chief information officer for information assurance since 2006. He reduced security vulnerabilities on the department’s personal computers and servers by about 90 percent between 2008 and 2009 by using continuous monitoring software.


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