(PresidentialWire.com)- On Monday, the Senate did something it rarely ever does — it came to a unanimous decision.
Jen Easterly received the approval of every U.S. Senator on Monday to serve as the new director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security.
For weeks, Easterly’s nomination was sidelined. Florida Senator Rick Scott blocked a vote on her nomination until President Joe Biden or his Vice President Kamala Harris finally visited the U.S. southern border with Mexico. That finally happened late in June, which led Scott to lift the hold on the vote.
Instead of celebrating the unanimous confirmation of Easterly, Democratic Senator Gary Peters took the opportunity Monday to chastise Republicans for delaying the process. Peters, the Michigan senator who’s the chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on the Senate, said he was frustrated Easterly wasn’t confirmed sooner.
He gave a speech on the Senate floor Monday, during which he said:
“Before the Senate adjourned for the July 4 holiday, I stood right here and urged my colleagues to confirm her for this vital position. I warned that without confirming Ms. Easterly, we risked leaving ourselves vulnerable to cyberattacks, and in the two weeks since I last called on my colleagues to approve this critical nomination, nation state actors and criminal organizations have continued their relentless targeting of the United States.”
It’s outright preposterous to suggest that one person alone would have had the ability to stop those cyberattacks. Even if Easterly were confirmed on Peters’ timeline, she would have only been in the position for two weeks before the most recent attacks.
One of the attacks Peters was referencing was the ransomware attack in late June on Kaseya, a software group. It resulted in more than 1,5000 businesses being affected, in what is being called one of history’s largest ransomware attacks.
The White House hasn’t officially laid blame for the attack on any one group, but many cybersecurity experts have said the group “REvil” is behind it. That cybercriminal group is linked to Russia. The FBI has said that group was also behind the ransomware attack on JBS USA, a major meat producer, in May.
According to a Bloomberg News report, the Republican National Committee was also targeted by hackers linked to the Russian government. They sought out Synnex, a technology contractor that supplies services to the RNC.
Following the report, the RNC denied it was breached, though it did confirm that Synnex was.
Before this new position, Easterly has served at the National Security Agency as the deputy for counterterrorism. She also once served under President Barack Obama on the White House Security Council as the senior director for counterterrorism.
One thing that Easterly has stressed is the need to “anticipate the unimaginable” in the world of cyberspace in the future. She’ll now lead CISA, which dubs itself the “nation’s risk advisor.”
It’s a big job, but every U.S. Senator believes she’s a good fit for it.