Cyber adversaries could benefit from State Department shortcomings

Fifth Domain: The lack of a high-level cybersecurity diplomat in the Department of State has offered adversarial countries the opportunity to flex their hacking muscles, according to Christopher Painter, commissioner for the Global Commission for the Stability of Cyberspace and former Coordinator for Cyber Issues.

Though the office Painter ran at the State Department still exists, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson decided to remove the cyber coordinator position after Painter’s retirement from the role in July 2017.

“I was ... disappointed that the State Department, even if temporarily, chose to downgrade my former office and restrict its resources. This sends the wrong message to our adversaries and allies alike. For the U.S. to lead and continue to make significant progress in cyber diplomacy, organizational structure and resources are important,” said Painter at a Feb. 6, 2018, House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

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