The Department of Homeland Security is charged with supporting all of the designated "critical infrastructure" cybersecurity functions in the U.S., from financial services to electricity, nuclear and water facilities. The U.S. Secret Service investigates a significant portion of the country's private-sector cyberthreats — with remit over all of those that involve financial fraud.
Both are facing abrupt leadership vacuums following the resignations of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles. The moves echo similar turmoil at the FBI, which has also seen the departure of several top cybersecurity leaders following the exit of former Director James Comey.
The departures could create greater weaknesses in the government's ability to respond to cyberthreats, as agencies already faced with a shortfall of qualified candidates for entry- and mid-level cybersecurity jobs now will have to contend with significant top-level leadership shifts involving the same functions.
The departure also comes as the U.S. is trying to unite its private-sector and government security efforts into a more streamlined approach. The lynchpins for this effort are DHS, the Secret Service and the FBI.