DHS cyber executive to retire

Tuesday - 7/22/2014, 3:26pm EDT

One of the Homeland Security Department's top cybersecurity leaders is retiring from government.

Larry Zelvin is stepping down as the director of DHS's National Cyber and Communications Integration Center (NCIC) next month.

DHS officials and other sources confirmed Zelvin is leaving after almost thirty years in government and is heading to the private sector. One source said he'll work for Citigroup.

"The integrity of the NCCIC and my trust in DHS are among the reasons I shared information with DHS when I was in the private sector, and Larry Zelvin has been one of the great operational forces that I see now from the inside energizing our threat mitigation and response capabilities," said Phyllis Schneck, the deputy undersecretary for Cybersecurity for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) at DHS, in an email statement to Federal News Radio. "His drive, patriotism and vision have helped make our National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) a world-class operation and the place to report cyber events from .gov and .com. Larry has provided a very generous and professional transition, providing time to seek the best candidates to fill this role. We thank and admire Larry for almost thirty years of government service, and his passion for country, work and family."

Sources say Greg Touhill, the deputy assistant secretary for Cybersecurity Operations and Programs, will be the interim NCCIC director until DHS hires a permanent replacement for Zelvin.

Zelvin is expected to remain with NCCIC through mid-August, sources say.

Zelvin joined the NCCIC in June 2012 after spending twenty six years in the Navy and almost three years on the national security staff in the White House working on incident management issues.

The NCCIC includes the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team and the National Coordinating Center for Communications.

During his tenure, Zelvin led efforts to increase sharing of cyber threat data with the private sector. In 2013, DHS launched the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services initiative to increase classified information sharing. DHS recently launched a voluntary program for companies to improve the security of their computer networks and systems as part of the cyber executive order from 2013.

Zelvin also played a key role in improving governmentwide information sharing of cyber vulnerabilities and threats through the US-CERT office. In May, Zelvin told the House Homeland Security Committee that DHS needed clearer authorities to protect federal networks after the Heartbleed vulnerability highlighted challenges across government.

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