Change of seasons: head of security leaves Twitter

Lea Kissner, Chief Information Security Officer at Twitter, announced she was leaving Twitter, subtly hinting that her decision was to do with the direction of the social media company, recently acquired by the billionaire Elon Musk.

“I've made the hard decision to leave Twitter. I've had the opportunity to work with amazing people and I'm so proud of the privacy, security, and IT teams, and the work we've done,” Kissner said.

The former head of security at Twitter didn’t precisely say her decision was related to recent changes at the company. But Kissner added, “I’ve loved this job and we got so much done, but here we are.”

Musk has already laid off half of Twitter’s workforce in a matter of days, after buying the company for $44 billion. Kissner was not among the fired employees and just recently posted public support for Twitter’s privacy, security and IT teams.

“I've seen you do great work and get really good at getting that great work done in the face of enormous challenges. No matter what happens, I've been so lucky. Thank you. Just like always, I'm here for you,” Kissner, a former Global Lead of Privacy Technology, posted on November 4.

Concerns about Musk’s goals and strategy at Twitter started to grow when he fired key executives immediately after becoming the official owner and the Chief Executive Officer of the company at the end of October.

The legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde was among those let go. Musk had accused Twitter’s executives of misleading him and Twitter investors over the number of fake accounts on the platform.

Musk, who is a self-described free speech absolutist, has also expressed a desire to see the company have fewer limits on content that can be posted.

Cyber experts have long said they would be watching several factors that could affect – and reduce – cybersecurity at Twitter. Workforce cuts are obviously important as less personnel means less ability to prevent data security crises.

Changes at verification procedures, already initiated and widely criticized, are also important – scammers can and do misuse the blue check marks and impersonate famous people and organizations for illicit gains.

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