US cybersecurity chief quits over funding, turf war

The director of the US National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) has resigned over under-funding and amid a fierce turf war about control of the agency.

In his letter of resignation, Rod Beckstrom said he considered the proposal to let the National Security Agency (NSA) handle the majority of cybersecurity efforts to be a "bad strategy on multiple grounds."

The US Director of National Intelligence has called on the Obama administration to let the NSA take over cybersecurity.

But intelligence agencies have a very different culture to that of the network operations or security communities, Beckstrom said. "In addition, the threats to our democratic processes are significant if all top-level [cybersecurity efforts] are handled by any one organization," he said.

Directly addressing the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Beckstrom added that the DHS had not given the NCSC the support it needed to develop into a group responsible for protecting civilian, military and intelligence networks.

"The NCSC is now prepared to build out this capability for you, but"&brkbar;did not receive appropriate support inside DHS during the last administration to fully realize this vital role," he said.

"During the past year the NCSC received only five weeks of funding, due to various roadblocks engineered within the department and by the Office of Management and Budget."