(HorizonPost.com) – When former President Donald Trump was still in office, Congress passed a law creating the position of National Cyber Director (NCD). Before Joe Biden took office, his transition team lobbied Congress to remove the provision for the job from the defense bill — to no avail. Biden finally submitted the name of John “Chris” Inglis for the position. The Senate confirmed him in June 2021. Now, Inglis has big plans for his new role.
Who is Chris Inglis? He graduated from the United States Air Force (USAF) Academy. He later worked at the National Security Agency (NSA) for 28 years, eventually becoming the deputy director and the highest-ranking civilian. In his newest role, as he described it in an interview with Politico, he aims to achieve “federal coherence” in his effort to protect against hostile agents hacking government and private computer systems.
America’s first-ever national cyber director holds a post the Biden administration didn’t want, and he has limited authority to force change. But Chris Inglis says he has a strategy to get government agencies to toughen up their digital defenses.https://t.co/EUWA5IZxv8
— POLITICO (@politico) August 30, 2021
As NCD, Inglis will oversee various government intelligence agencies to ensure they’re all working together on cybersecurity issues. Logistically, Inglis’s goal is to standardize “common practice in what we buy and how it operates” in terms of hardware and software, including the regulation of contractors and testing protocols.
However, the first-ever NCD may have a difficult row to hoe moving forward. His authority to force changes at these agencies is limited and undefined. Inglis also faces the daunting task of reviewing spending decisions and dealing with agency heads trying to protect their share of the nearly $100 billion budgeted for cybersecurity annually.
As of now, Inglis is basically in the drawing-board stage. He said, “for the moment, what we’ve done is to lay out what the functions are that [future staffers] would undertake.”
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