Even as Homeland Security released a new strategy for identifying and managing cybersecurity risks, the White House axed the cybersecurity coordinator position on the National Security Council because they said the role is no longer considered necessary.Meanwhile, when releasing the new DHS comprehensive cybersecurity strategy (pdf), Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said, \u201cThe cyber threat landscape is shifting in real time, and we have reached a historic turning point. Digital security is now converging with personal and physical security, and it is clear that our cyber adversaries can now threaten the very fabric of our republic itself.\u201dThat may well be true, but with the Trump administration eliminating the cyber czar\u2019s role, it could send the wrong message to nation-state attackers; adversaries may believe the White House doesn\u2019t take cybersecurity very seriously. Which is it? Do cyber adversaries threaten the very fabric of our democracy or is cybersecurity so unimportant that others on the National Security Council team can pick up the slack created by not filling the White House cyber coordinator\u2019s position?National Security Council (NSC) spokesman Robert Palladino released this statement:\u201cThe National Security Council\u2019s cyber office already has two very capable Senior Directors. Moving forward, these Senior Directors will coordinate cyber matters and policy. As they sit six feet apart from one another, they will be able to coordinate in real time. Today\u2019s actions continue an effort to empower National Security Council Senior Directors. Streamlining management will improve efficiency, reduce bureaucracy and increase accountability.\u201dU.S. lawmakers respond to decision to cut cyber czar role\u00a0That didn\u2019t cut it with lawmakers. Instead, it caused immediate blowback. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) tweeted:Mr. President, if you really want to put America first, don\u2019t cut the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator \u2014 the only person in the federal government tasked with delivering a coordinated, whole-of-government response to the growing cyber threats facing our nation. https:\/\/t.co\/MRkwA8et7y\u2014 Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) May 15, 2018Here\u2019s the point: we should be investing in our nation\u2019s cyber defense, not rolling it back. We also need to articulate a clear cyber doctrine. I don\u2019t see how getting rid of the top cyber official in the White House does anything to make our country safer from cyber threats.\u2014 Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) May 15, 2018Democratic Congressmen Jim Langevin and Ted Lieu introduced a bill to save the cybersecurity coordinator position by \u201ccreating a permanent director of cybersecurity policy at the White House.\u201d\u201cThe decision to eliminate the top White House cyber policy role is outrageous, especially given that we\u2019re facing more hostile threats from foreign adversaries than ever before,\u201d Lieu said. \u201cThis move impedes our country\u2019s strategic efforts to counter cybersecurity threats against our country.\u201dFortunately, our bill will fill in those holes in government cybersecurity oversight by creating a National Office for Cyberspace in the White House. A coordinated effort to keep our information systems safe is paramount if we want to counter the cyber threats posed by foes like Russia, Iran and China. To do anything less is a direct threat to national security.DHS rethinks its cybersecurity strategyGoing back to Homeland Security\u2019s new cyber strategy, DHS\u2019s Nielsen said it was \u201crethinking its approach by adopting a more comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. In an age of brand-name breaches, we must think beyond the defense of specific assets \u2014 and confront systemic risks that affect everyone from tech giants to homeowners. Our strategy outlines how DHS will leverage its unique capabilities on the digital battlefield to defend American networks and get ahead of emerging cyber threats.\u201dThe actual strategy touches on the risks introduced by the growing number and variety of IoT devices, as more than 20 billion are expected to be connected to the internet by 2020, the low cost of malware kits available on the dark web, the growing use of end-to-end encryption, the popularity of cryptocurrencies and anonymous networks. It emphasizes reducing threats and vulnerabilities, more information sharing and \u201ccountering illicit uses of cyberspace\u201d with \u201cenhanced law enforcement coordination and engagement.\u201d It also discusses \u201cnew processes to ensure accountability\u201d and the consequences for federal agencies which fail to adopt cybersecurity best practices.DHS said its \u201cfive-part approach to manage national cyber risk\u201d is \u201caimed at ensuring the availability of critical national functions and fostering efficiency, innovation, trustworthy communication, and economic prosperity in ways consistent with our national values and that protect privacy and civil liberties.\u201dIronically, when DHS Secretary Nielsen appeared before the Senate Homeland Security Committee and was asked about the White House cutting the NSC cyber coordinator position, she claimed not to have discussed that with national security adviser John Bolton. Yet Homeland Security\u2019s new cybersecurity strategy \u201cwas done in \u2018close coordination\u2019 with NSC,\u201d as she and Bolton worked \u201chand in glove\u201d on the cybersecurity strategy.