On April 12, 2021, the Biden government announced that it intended to appoint Chris Inglis, a former deputy director of the National Security Agency, as the first US National Cyber Director (“NCD”), subject to Senate approval. The newly established NCD position, who will serve as primary advisor to the President on cybersecurity policy and strategy, and the Office of the National Cyber Director (“ONCD”) were created under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (“NDAA”) ” ), Which became law on January 1, 2021.
The ONCD is set up in the Executive Office of the President. In addition to serving as Chief Advisor to the President on cybersecurity policy and strategy, the NCD’s responsibilities include:
- Advice and consultation of the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the responsible federal departments and agencies with regard to the development and coordination of national cyber policy and strategy;
- Coordinating the implementation of the national cyber policy and strategy;
- coordinate the development and ensure the implementation of the Federal Government’s integrated response to cyber attacks and cyber campaigns of considerable importance;
- Preparing the Federal Government’s response to cyber attacks and cyber campaigns of considerable importance for federal departments and agencies with responsibility for cybersecurity as well as for relevant bodies in the private sector;
- Coordinating and consulting private sector executives on cybersecurity and emerging technology issues to assist and coordinate with other heads of federal agencies and departments, such as the Director of the Agency for Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security and the Director of the National Intelligence Service;
- Reporting annually to Congress on US cybersecurity threats and issues, including new or emerging technologies that may harm national security, economic prosperity, or the enforcement of the rule of law; and
- be responsible for other functions that the President may instruct.
The NCD is authorized within the framework of the NDAA to issue rules and regulations that are necessary for the exercise of the functions, powers and duties assigned to the NCD. The establishment of a Senate-approved NCD and an ONCD were recommendations of the 2020 report of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, which Congress tasked with developing a consensus on a strategic approach to defending the US against cyberattacks with significant consequences.