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Senior DHS cybersecurity official to step down at end of week

Bryan Ware, a top official at the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), will step down at the end of the week. 

CyberScoop first reported that Ware, who serves as assistant director for cybersecurity at CISA, will leave his position on Friday to move to a private sector position. A CISA source confirmed Ware’s departure to The Hill. 

The CISA source gave no further details about the departure, but Reuters reported that a senior U.S. official said Ware had been asked to resign by the White House earlier this week. 

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“I’m very proud of the work that CISA has done this year,” Ware told CyberScoop. “And I think against significant odds, the work we did on [protecting] elections is really a testament to what this agency can do.”

Ware was in charge of efforts to protect and strengthen critical infrastructure against cyber threats, and took over the role after Jeanette Manfra stepped down from the position last year. Ware previously served as the DHS assistant secretary for cyber, infrastructure, and resilience policy. 

Over the past year, Ware has focused on issues including protecting health care and essential services from cyberattacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to lead a joint alert put out by CISA and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre in May warning of this escalating issue. 

Ware could be the first of several officials at CISA to depart, with Reuters separately reporting Thursday that CISA Director Christopher Krebs has told multiple associates that he expects to be fired. CISA did not respond to The Hill’s request for comment on Krebs's potential departure. 

Ware is one of an expanding pool of Trump administration officials to be asked to leave in the week since the general election. Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Trump loyalist to lead Pentagon transition | Democrats ask VA for vaccine distribution plan | Biden to get classified intel reports Ex-Nunes aide linked to Biden conspiracy theories will lead Pentagon transition Brennan takes final shot at Trump: 'I leave his fate to our judicial system, his infamy to history, & his legacy to a trash heap' MORE was fired and replaced by Christopher Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, earlier this week, with several other top Defense Department officials resigning in the days after. 

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There is speculation that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE is considering firing CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration Leadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans MORE, though senior Senate Republicans have come to Haspel’s defense.

The potential shake-up at CISA comes just over a week after the agency served as the key federal group coordinating security efforts around the general election. CISA stood up a 24/7 operations center to help coordinate with state and local officials, along with social media companies, election machine vendors and other stakeholders.

CISA also rolled out a “rumor control” page to help combat misinformation and disinformation around the election process, with CISA regularly updating the site over the past week as election concerns have spiked. 

CISA was established by a bill signed into law by Trump in 2018, with Krebs serving as the agency’s first director.