Yoran: Some gains, some hurdles still at DHS

Amit Yoran, who left the DHS after just one year on the job, called his year as the nation's top cybersecurity official "an interesting political experience."

Henrik G. de Gyor

Amit Yoran brought to his former job as director of the Homeland Security Department's cybersecurity division the perspective of an engineer and entrepreneur. "Maybe that's not the right fit for the job," he said.

Yoran, who abruptly resigned from the department Sept. 30 after just one year on the job, called his year as the nation's top cybersecurity official "an interesting political experience." Speaking at the Computer Security Institute in Washington Nov. 10, he assessed his tenure with a combination of satisfaction and frustration.

"I believe we were successful in building the startup capability we were asked to build," he said. On the other hand, "the government really doesn't know what its IT assets are," he said, and it's doing an inadequate job of certifying systems and software for security.

Some security experts have complained that the cybersecurity chief is buried too far down on the DHS organizational chart and have proposed making the position an assistant secretary or moving it to the White House.

Yoran said he felt his position at DHS was at the proper level for the job he was asked to do, but he refused to speculate on where his replacement's position should be.

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