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Facebook restructures security teams, displacing over 2 dozen employees

Facebook claims the layoffs are due to a change in methodology

The Facebook logo displayed on a screen in white text on a blue background

Facebook has restructured some of its security teams, displacing more than two dozen employees. The New York Times reported the changes, which took place last week, impacted Facebook’s detection-engineering and alert-response teams. The employees, whose duties included anticipating cyberattacks and preventing hackers from breaching the platform, were located in the London, Seattle and Menlo Park offices. 

Facebook has claimed it’s continuing to invest in security and the restructuring was designed to update its methodology, but NYT’s sources claim the company has spent the last two years dissolving and dispersing its security group. According to its sources, fighting and other issues within the department may have also spurred this restructuring.

“To stay ahead of evolving security threats, we’re investing more in automated detection and bringing in new skills as we continue to grow our security team over all,” a company spokeswoman shared in a statement responding to the restructure. “This also means we are restructuring a portion of our team and helping the people affected by this change find other roles at Facebook.”

It appears Facebook has since posted job listings for engineers to build out systems designed to respond to security threats on the platform. According to sources, these jobs are aimed at hiring software engineers to write programs that automate security duties previously accomplished by humans.

Facebook has experienced some much-deserved backlash over its security efforts over the past few years. During the 2016 presidential elections, Russians leveraged the social network to sow discord and sway voters. Come 2018, the company disclosed a security breach exposing tens of millions of accounts.

The company’s security operations were previously led by former chief information security officer Alex Stamos. After Stamos stepped down in 2018, Facebook reassigned the security teams and the changed each team’s reporting structure. Facebook has since eliminated the CISO position.

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