US cybersecurity chief resigns


US cybersecurity chief resigns

The head of cybersecurity efforts at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has resigned, leaving his job after reportedly giving a day's notice.

Amit Yoran, director of the DHS National Cyber Security Division since September 2003, left the job on Thursday 30 September, according to an Associated Press news report.

Yoran, former vice-president of worldwide managed security services at Symantec, resigned because of a lack of priority for cybersecurity within DHS, according to the AP.

The DHS confirmed Yoran's resignation. The agency viewed Yoran's service as a "valuable contribution" to cybersecurity, said Katy Mynster, a DHS spokeswoman. 

Asked to comment on reports that Yoran resigned over a lack of priority for cybersecurity, Mynster said she believed he quit for other professional reasons. "Cybersecurity has been and will remain a priority for DHS," she said.

Yoran used to be vice-president of worldwide managed security services at Symantec.

Yoran is the second US cybersecurity czar to resign in less than two years. In January 2003, White House cybersecurity czar Richard Clarke resigned, citing frustration with the Bush administration's lack of progress in cybersecurity.

As recently as Thursday, Yoran appeared at a National Cyber Security Alliance press conference to promote October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Because of collaboration between private business and the government, "cyberspace is becoming a safer place," Yoran said at the Washington, DC, press conference.

Grant Gross writes for IDG News Service

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