The first national cyber director’s last day is today

15 Febuary, 2023

The first-ever National Cyber Director for the US, Chris Inglis, has stepped down from his post, after nearly 30 years working at federal agencies. The Office of the National Cyber Director was established by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. The Director serves as a principal advisor to the President on cybersecurity policy and strategy, and cybersecurity engagement with industry and international stakeholders. Inglis served as National Security Agency Deputy Director before leaving the agency in 2014. An Air Force veteran, he began his career at NSA as a computer scientist at the National Computer Security Center. As deputy director, he essentially served as the agency’s chief operating officer.

Before stepping down, Ingles sheparded the develpment of the government’s National Cyber Strategy. Although a release date has not been annouced, the document may expand the playing field for government repsonses to attack and add teeth to efforts to strenghen cyberdefenses.

When Ingles assumend duties in 2021 as the Cyber Czar he wanted to buisness to work with government as Cybersecurity collabortors. However the initiave did not fully pan out as industry response was inconsistent and the lack of regulatory enforncement made it a collaition of the willing. Drafts of the the executive order outline a new set of mandatory regulations, and institutes a “hack-back” policy. The order is expected to green-light the use of the full brunt of the US cyber arsenal to either retaliate for or preempt cyber incursions by threat groups (and nation-states) against US interests and assets, including private-sector companies.

Although the outlines from the draft do not include space specific issue items, the expansion of industry, government and DoD assests into orbit will include the regime as both a target in need of proctection and a possible aveune of approach for a retalitory strike.

Kemba Walden, the current principal deputy national cyber director, will assume his duties as Acting Director and be repsonsibble for publishing and enacting the Executive Order.