The newly-named Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has been elevated within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and one of the biggest priorities for the agency will be responses to cyber threats from other nations, as a senior CISA official discussed on Sunday’s episode of Government Matters.

“We are on par and focused on our operational mission of securing our critical infrastructure and security,” said Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary at CISA. Manfra said that this elevation doesn’t give the agency any new authorities within the DHS.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act was signed into law back in November by President Trump. The act echoes what Manfra said about the agency by stating: “CISA leads the national effort to defend critical infrastructure against the threats of today, while working with partners across all levels of government and in the private sector to secure against the evolving threats of tomorrow.”

Manfra stated that our dependency on technology and infrastructure are enticing nation-state actors to exploit homeland security, but that having great relationships with other agencies and with the private sector will help overcome the challenge.

“Our partnerships are based off of trust. We don’t regulate. Within the Federal government, we do have some directive authority for agencies to take action, but even there it’s very much based off of trust and an ability to bring value.” Manfra said.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.