President Donald Trump has reportedly fired the White House CISO with no replacement in line, leaving questions as to who might be the cybersecurity officer to keep White House staffers safe.
Now former White House CISO Cory Louie was appointed by former President Barack Obama in August 2015. Louie’s role as the White House’s cybersecurity officer was to protect the president and his staffers from cyberthreats and potential cyberattacks. Louie was reportedly asked to resign on Feb. 2, but there has been no official announcement from the White House and Louie’s LinkedIn profile remains unchanged.
It is unknown if there is a replacement White House CISO in line, but Louie is not the first federal cybersecurity officer to resign since President Trump took office. Former federal CIO Tony Scott, former White House IT director David Recordon and former federal CISO Gregory Touhill resigned when the administration changeover occurred.
Louie’s departure comes at a time when cybersecurity has been a focus for the Trump administration; a highly anticipated executive order on government cybersecurity measures was expected from Trump, but the order was delayed. In addition, Trump has been criticized for refusing to give up his older and possibly insecure Android phone since entering the White House.
The White House has not responded to requests for comment as of this publication.
Various outlets have attributed the silence from the White House over Louie’s exit, which was first reported by Steve Clemmons, Washington editor for The Atlantic, to general fear over job security. Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent for the New York Times, said on Twitter:
Really hard to overstate level of misery radiating from several members of White House staff over last few days.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT)
February 10, 2017
Cybersecurity expert SwiftOnSecurity noted the importance of there being a replacement White House CISO installed quickly.
Anyway, I do hope someone great steps up to take the White House CISO role, they’d be protecting our country and overseas personnel.
— SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity)
February 9, 2017
Chenxi Wang, chief strategy officer at Twistlock Inc., told SearchSecurity via Twitter she is unsure about the security impact of the White House going without a cybersecurity officer.
“I suspect POTUS’s got his private security team taking care of things for now,” Wang said. “And I wonder if the [White House] will recruit for another CISO and who would be brave enough to take that job.”