The Department of Justice is creating a new litigating section within its National Security Division dedicated to cybersecurity.
“Cybersecurity is a national security matter,” Matthew G. Olsen, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said in a Tuesday event at Stanford’s Hoover Institution announcing the new section.
The section, which will be known as NatSec Cyber, will allow the National Security Division to “increase the scale and speed” of their disruption campaigns and prosecutions of cyber threats from nation-states and state-sponsored cybercriminals, Olsen said. The section already has congressional approval.
The creation of the new section is a response to findings from a cyber review in July 2022, DOJ said in an accompanying release. That report from Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco found the department needed to have personnel in place that are well-versed in understanding the intricacies of cyber breaches and attacks.
Adding the section puts cyber work on “equal footing” with the other sections within the National Security Division, Olsen said. Leadership will be organized by geographical threat actors, which mirrors the structure of the FBI’s cyber division in an effort to aid their integration, he said.
The section will also be a resource for U.S. attorney offices around the country, Olsen said.
“Responding to highly technical cyber threats often requires significant time and resources, and that’s not always possible within the demands of these individual U.S. attorney’s offices,” he said.
Olsen said his goal for the new section is that it will “serve as something of an incubator” for cyber cases, investing time and energy early on to “ensure they’re properly handled.”