The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced two senior cybersecurity appointments.

Former lead solution engineer at Salesforce, David Larrimore, has been named the DHS’s Chief Technology Officer. He previously held this same role at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) between 2016 and 2019.

Before his move to ICE, he was a Cloud Strategist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and an IT Manager at the General Services Administration.

DHS also announced that Robert Costello has been named Chief Information Officer at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Costello, a U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve veteran, previously spent nine years at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), where he held roles as Executive Director of the Office of Information Technology’s Enterprise Networks and Technology Support Directorate and Acting Executive Director of the Border Enforcement and Management Systems Directorate. Before joining CBP, Costello was the Director of Network Engineering at ICE. 

Commenting on the news, Bill O’Neill, Vice President of Public Sector at ThycoticCentrify, a Washington D.C.-based provider of cloud identity security solutions, says, “Larrimore and Costello’s appointments indicate that government is rethinking the type of talent it’s bringing in to help wrangle the country’s cybersecurity problem. These individuals’ careers within military or law enforcement, coupled with their robust technical and engineering expertise, reinforces DHS’s need for personnel that can leverage a proficient grasp of technology to both understand the inner workings of cybercrime and work efficiently to stop it.

Hitesh Sheth, President and CEO at Vectra, a San Jose, Calif.-based AI cybersecurity company, says, “These appointees represent more than government tech culture, which I think is good news for the state of cybersecurity. Here we have a former Salesforce executive and a border security professional. I’m inclined to approve such cross-disciplinary promotions because cyber defense is no longer a purely technical challenge. It’s a pervasive national and economic security concern, and to build a better digital future, we need more strategic thinkers from beyond the IT situation room.”