Nakasone has an extensive background in cyber issues, having held positions including serving as chief of the U.S. Army’s cyber command since late 2016.
Nakasone, 54, replaces Admiral Mike Rogers, who is retiring after nearly four years in the “dual-hat” position leading the NSA, the country’s largest spy agency, and the military’s cyber warfare division.
During his confirmation hearing, Nakasone said he did not think Russia, China and other countries had seen enough of a U.S. response to cyber attacks to change their behavior.
He also said he had not come to a decision on whether the NSA and Cyber Command should be separated. They have been combined since the cyber operation was created in 2009, but there has been debate recently over whether they would be more effective as separate entities.
Opponents of the idea say it is essential that they work closely together against a growing threat.
Nakasone’s confirmation also means he becomes a four-star general.