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A shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could leave federal and private networks more vulnerable to cyberattacks, former officials say.

With Congress at a stalemate over DHS funding, the odds are growing that the department and its affiliated agencies will be without funding after Feb. 27 and forced to furlough thousands of employees who aren’t deemed “essential.”
“This is no way to run anything,” said Jane Holl Lutte, who was DHS deputy secretary from 2009 to 2013. “DHS cannot play the leadership role it needs to play if it’s wondering where the next dollar is coming from.”

The DHS was the only agency not included in an overarching “cromnibus” budget passed in December. The department is being funded through a continuing resolution that runs out at the end of the month.