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Office of Personnel Management Hires First CISO

Following one of the largest data breaches on record, the Office of Personnel Management hires a chief information security officer.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hired its first chief information security officer this past April, following a series of data breaches last year that compromised the personal information of more than 21 million Americans. The new CISO is Cord Chase, former senior adviser on Cyber and National Security to the White House and Office of Management and Budget, and technology head and engineer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to an announcement made by the office last year, Chase will support the department’s CIO office, a position now held by deputy CIO Lisa Schlosser, who also is serving as the department’s acting CIO and senior IT adviser. Acting Director Beth Cobert is expected to return by the end of the year.

The shuffling of officials was precipitated by accusations following last year’s breaches. OPM’s cyberprogram was formerly co-led by director of IT security policy Andy Newton, who left last May.

In his first months as the department’s first CISO, reports indicate Chase has focused on patching vulnerabilities that might lead to a recurrence of last year’s events, and continuing deployment of a continuous monitoring system.

A 30-day “sprint” effort launched last year in the wake of the attacks was intended to shore up federal defenses, but some reports indicate that large holes remain in the government’s infrastructure, jeopardizing the personal information of all Americans.

Colin wrote for Government Technology and Emergency Management from 2010 through most of 2016.