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CISA's vision.

It's clear that the 2020 US elections will be the first big test of the Department of Homeland Security's youngest agency. Christopher Krebs, Director of the US Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, discussed the vision he expressed for CISA at Auburn University earlier this summer. "We are," Krebs said, "a risk management agency; we're the nation's risk advisor."

The agency has, he said, five principles of execution and two goals. The principles are:

  1. Operate with the statutory authority to collaboratively lead critical infrastructure protection.

  2. Be results-driven.

  3. Remain risk-focused.

  4. Work consistently with Constitutional rights and national values.

  5. Execute and engage as one agency, in one fight, as one team.

CISA's goals are to "defend today" and "secure tomorrow." The agency's priorities include securing government networks (and this includes rendering appropriate support to state and local governments), securing elections, protecting soft targets and crowded places, and defending industrial control systems. The commitment to protecting soft targets and crowded places (think of this in terms of defeating terrorism directed against unprotected public spaces and the people in them) is worth noting. CISA's infrastructure protection mission isn't confined to cyber infrastructure.

"In 2020, we're going to lead," Krebs concluded, returning to the central challenge of election security. "We're not going to let the Russians or the Chinese in."