Nielsen Resigns Post as DHS Secretary

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As part of what is being called a “massive reorganization” of President Trump’s senior-level management within homeland security, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS's) secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, has submitted her resignation, according to CBS News.

“For more than two years of service beginning during the Presidential Transition, I have worked tirelessly to advance the goals and missions of the Department. I am immensely proud of our successes in transforming DHS to keep pace with our enemies and adversaries – whether it is in cyberspace or against emerging threats from new technologies,” Nielsen wrote in her letter of resignation.

Touting her successes, Nielsen stated that she is certain the nation is more secure now than when she started in her position as DHS secretary. “We have replaced complacency with consequences in cyberspace, we are holding digital intruders accountable, and we are stepping up our protection of American networks...And we have ramped up security measures to make it harder for our adversaries to attack us, whether it is with drones, chemical and biological weapons, or through other means.”

The abrupt departure does raise questions about the impact a change in leadership could have on cybersecurity. “DHS does not currently have a deputy secretary, which could also complicate the transition, but the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which is under the DHS umbrella, has its own senior leader and I feel confident that the mission will carry on regardless of who the next secretary is,” said Terence Jackson, chief information security officer at Thycotic.

Regardless of Nielsen’s efforts to mitigate the risks of foreign interference in local, state and national elections in the US and improve the nation's overall cybersecurity posture, the Administration’s policy of separating children from their families at the US border with Mexico will be what Nielsen is most remembered for, CBS News reported.

“I hope the next secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure America’s borders and which have contributed to discord in our nation’s discourse,” Nielsen continued.

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