Senior Biden cyber nominees sail through Senate hearing

The nominees selected by President Biden to fill the top two cybersecurity positions in the federal government faced little opposition during their Senate nomination hearing on Thursday amid growing bipartisan concerns about increasing cyber threats.

Former National Security Agency (NSA) Deputy Director Chris Inglis, nominated by Biden to fill the new position of national cyber director at the White House, and Jen Easterly, nominated to lead the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), stressed to senators Thursday the need to confront mounting cyberattacks.

“It will not stop of its own accord, it is not a fire raging across the prairie that once it’s consumed the fuel it will simply stop and we can simply wait for that moment, we must stand in,” Inglis testified to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on cyber threats. “It will never go away completely, but we can bring it down, we can bring it to heel significantly.”

Easterly, who previously served as the deputy for counterterrorism at the NSA, stressed the need to “anticipate the unimaginable” when combating threats in cyberspace.

“Even as we contend with the billions of daily intrusions against our networks by malicious actors, I believe that as a nation, we remain at great risk of a catastrophic cyberattack,” Easterly testified.

While both Inglis and Easterly faced tough technical questions about their plans for the roles, no members of the committee on Thursday expressed opposition to the nominations.