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Alejandro Mayorkas: DHS Needs More Authority on Cybersecurity

Alejandro Mayorkas
Alejandro Mayorkas

Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, has urged lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at bolstering the agency’s cyber defense authority and workforce, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Jerry Markon writes Mayorkas told an audience at a Washington Post-hosted cybersecurity summit Wednesday that DHS should be given an expanded role to protect U.S. computer networks against state-sponsored actors.

He added that the department’s current hiring strategy often prevents the agency from attracting and retaining top cyber talent, according to the newspaper.

“We have a difficult time competing with the private sector because of financial realities,” Mayorkas told his audience.

Congressional staff predict a comprehensive cyber bill could be addressed in a lame-duck session of Congress after the midterm elections.

The Post reports DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson went to Georgia Institute of Technology and Morehouse College in February to encourage students to join the federal cyber workforce.

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