Rob Joyce to Take Over as NSA Cybersecurity Director

vulnerability disclosure CISA

Joyce will replace Anne Neuberger, who is now deputy national security advisor for the incoming Biden administration.

As the incoming Biden administration continues to shake up federal leadership, the National Security Agency announced Friday that Rob Joyce, who is currently serving at the U.S. Embassy in London, was named to lead its cybersecurity division.

Joyce will inherit the job from Anne Neuberger, who will leave the post to serve as deputy national security adviser for the National Security Council, putting her in charge of cybersecurity for the entire federal government.

Joyce is no stranger to government cybersecurity. He has worked for the NSA since 1989. Under the Trump Administration, he also served as a special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator at the White House as deputy homeland security advisor and acting homeland security advisor, among other assignments.

Solar Winds Support

Both Joyce and Neuberger’s promotions come at a time when the federal government is still grappling with the fallout from the Solar Winds attack. The good news is that there appears to be substantial support from the incoming White House for the work needed to beef up the county’s cybersecurity infrastructure.

The Biden administration’s proposed massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package includes $9 billion earmarked to modernize the federal IT infrastructure to prevent cyberattacks.

“The recent cybersecurity breaches of federal government data systems underscore the importance and urgency of strengthening U.S. cybersecurity capabilities, the Biden proposal said. “President-elect Biden is calling on Congress to launch the most ambitious effort ever to modernize and secure federal IT and networks.”

There are additional measures called for in the proposal to address the Solar Winds breach directly, including: $200 million for additional hires to support the federal Chief Information Security Officer and U.S. Digital Service; $300 million to modernize the General Services Administration’s IT systems; and $690 million for CISA to spend on federal-civilian network security and pilot secure cloud-computing services.

So although Joyce takes over at a particularly fraught time for U.S. cybersecurity, the government veteran will likely have plenty of resources to marshal for the fight.

While he’s not working on cybersecurity, Joyce uses his Twitter feed to show off his off-the-clock passion — large-scale holiday light displays.

On Christmas, Joyce proudly shared his Notre Dame light display featured on NBC.

Even his bio for speaking events calls out his love of lights.

“Over Christmas, he runs a computerized light display synchronized to music, likely visible from the International Space Station,” it read.

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