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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 EsperCORRECTED: Overnight Defense: COVID-19 stymies effort to study sexual assault at military academies | Biden, Saudi king speak ahead of Khashoggi report Female generals' promotions held back over fears of Trump's response: report Overnight Defense: Army details new hair and grooming standards | DC National Guard chief says Pentagon restricted his authority before riot | Colorado calls on Biden not to move Space Command 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 TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE is considering firing CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Biden announces veteran diplomat William Burns as nominee for CIA director Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community 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.