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Former Governmental Cybersecurity Expert Joins Google

Given the prevalence of digital threats in the Information Age, more and more companies are enlisting the help of proven cybersecurity experts to ensure the safety of their systems. In a recent move, Jeanette Manfra, a highly influential cybersecurity expert who formerly worked with the United States Department of Homeland Security, has recently joined the ranks of Google.

Jeanette Manfra certainly knows the topic of cybersecurity well. She was the leader of the DHS' efforts in protecting the 2018 midterm elections, where she coordinate the implementation of various cybersecurity safeguards on behalf of voting machines throughout the country.

During this time, she went on record when describing the typical approach she takes when trying to analyze cyber risks and vulnerabilities. She stated: "They lay out for us what their networks, what their systems look like. We try a variety of different things and identify where we saw some potential issues, some recommended mitigations, and we often times will talk through with them if they have any questions."

She continued by highlighting some of the steps she took during her time with the DHS, saying: ''"We published voter registration database best practices in 2016. We've been working with software vendors. We've been working with state officials. How can they best ensure that their public-facing websites are protected? How can they ensure that there's no disruption of voter rolls? We're working with the different organizations that would publish [early results], whether that's through a state site, or the AP."''

There's no question that officials with Google are optimistic about their new hire. According to their announced plans, they're looking forward to utilizing the cybersecurity expertise of Manfra. Her role with Google officially started on January 6, 2020, so she's already had a few weeks to assimilate into her new position.

A spokesperson for Google Cloud spoke about Manfra's credentials while hinting at some of her future responsibilities by saying: "She will lend her considerable experience in cybersecurity toward helping our customers, particularly those in regulated industries, build and maintain the highest levels of security and trust into their technical infrastructure and services."

Per the official reports, Manfra is being enlisted as the global director of security and compliance – a critical component of a brand new security team with Google Cloud. Apart from her primary responsibilities, Manfra is expected to lead the upcoming "Office of the CISO" initiative, which is meant to strengthen security on behalf of all Google Cloud customers.

However, Jeanette Manfra isn't the first ex-government official to join the ranks of Google. In fact, Google boasts multiple experts that used to work for the U.S. government, including Kate Charlet – formerly a senior official with the U.S. Department of Defense – and Daniel Prieto – former head of cybersecurity with Barack Obama's presidential administration.

Given the experience of these three individuals alone, it's safe to say that Google is certainly gearing up for a turbulent decade. They're also expected to push Google Cloud even harder than ever before in the coming weeks, months, and years.


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