CIA selects new CISO with deep private sector experience

The CIA announced Thursday it had selected a new chief information security officer, the latest in a series of senior personnel hires the clandestine agency has made as it reorients its focus on technology and innovation.

Joseph “Rich” Baich is taking the CISO job, the agency said in a statement. He will be responsible for “leading the strategy and implementation of the agency’s cybersecurity capabilities throughout CIA’s information technology ecosystem,” it added.

Baich most recently worked at the American Insurance Group (AIG) as its global chief information security officer. He previously served as CISO of Well Fargo and a principal at Deloitte. His resume also includes government experience: He was once assigned as the special assistant to the deputy director for the National Infrastructure Protection Center at the FBI, according to the CIA.

In a LinkedIn post Thursday, Baich also cited his experience as a U.S. Navy cryptologist and information warfare officer.

"To continue to compete in a digitally empowered world, we will innovate, deter, defend, and enable the diverse and integrated cyber workforce at the CIA to ensure mission success," Baich wrote.

William MacMillan previously held the CISO job.

"This is a huge win for America and for the incredibly talented, dedicated, and professional women and men at CIA’s Office of Cyber Security," MacMillan said in reply to Baich's post.

The appointment comes just weeks after CIA Director William Burns, who has prioritized innovation in an effort to keep pace with China’s technological advancements, announced the agency had hired its first chief technology officer.

The CIA said Baich will “partner closely” with its new CIO, La’Naia J. Jones.

The Record first reported that Jones, who served in various cybersecurity-related roles at the National Security Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, joined the spy agency in February.

Martin Matishak

Martin Matishak is a senior cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He spent the last five years at Politico, where he covered Congress, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community and was a driving force behind the publication's cybersecurity newsletter.

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