DHS Cyber-Security Head Resigns

Robert Liscouski, the man in charge of the section of the Department of Homeland Security responsible for cyber-security, is going back to the private sector.

Robert Liscouski, the man in charge of the section of the Department of Homeland Security responsible for cyber-security, has decided to leave the department and head for the greener pastures of the private sector.

Liscouski is the assistant secretary of the Information Assurance and Infrastructure Protection directorate at the DHS, which includes the National Cyber Security Division and handles the security and integrity of both the network and physical infrastructures in the United States.

His departure is the latest in a series of such moves from within the NCSD. The most recent NCSD official to leave was Amit Yoran, who was then the director of the NCSD, and resigned last fall after growing frustrated with his level of authority and ability to get things done within the division.

A main point of contention within the division at the time was whether Yorans job should be elevated to the level of assistant secretary. Yoran never publicly lobbied for the new title, but many government and private-sector security officials said the change was necessary to give the director more authority inside the beltway and better credibility within the technology industry.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read "Cyber-Security Office Calls for More Clout."

There also was much support on Capitol Hill for creating the new position, but people close to the situation said that Liscouski was against the idea. Yoran eventually resigned, and the effort to make the NCSD director an assistant secretary went by the wayside. However, House lawmakers last week introduced a new bill that would create a new position of assistant secretary for cyber security at DHS.

Liscouski joined the DHS from The Coca-Cola Co. and was handed the task of shoring up the countrys critical infrastructure. He plans to leave at the end of February. In a written statement released Tuesday, DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, who is leaving the department soon himself, said Liscouski served the department and the country well.

"Bob Liscouski accepted the call to serve as the departments first assistant secretary for Infrastructure Protection and he has served our nation well. His leadership has provided a solid foundation for protecting our nations critical infrastructure, and this department will benefit from his efforts for years to come," Ridge said.

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