Feeds

Obama loses (another) cybersecurity bigwig

Oh, the bureaucracy

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Updated Yet another high-ranking government official in charge of securing the country's computer networks has resigned. This time, it's the head of the US Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team.

Mischel Kwon submitted her letter of resignation last week, according to The Washington Post. The report cited unidentified colleagues saying the US-CERT director was moving on because she had grown frustrated by bureaucratic obstacles and a lack of authority to fulfill her mission. She was the fourth US-CERT director in five years.

RSA, the security division of EMC, said Monday Kwon will join the company as vice president of public sector security solutions. In her new job, Kwon will help lead RSA's security consulting practice by advising public and private sector customers that are required to maintain and protect critical infrastructures. She'll begin in early September.

Kwon's departure announcement follows that of Melissa E. Hathaway, the White House interim top aide for cybersecurity, who last week also submitted a letter of resignation following delays by the Obama administration in appointing a permanent director to oversee the safety of the nation's vital computer networks. Insiders had expected the position to be filled months ago.

And in March, Rod Beckstrom, resigned as head of the National Cybersecurity Center, an office within the Department of Homeland Security that's responsible for coordinating the defense of civilian, military, and intelligence networks. Beckstrom, who went on to accept the top post at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, warned in a letter announcing his decision that the post was underfunded and unduly controlled by the country's ultra-secretive National Security Agency.

"These jobs are tough," Beckstrom wrote Saturday on the micro-blogging site Twitter. "We wish you the best Mischel!"

The resignations highlight the difficulty President Barack Obama is having in filling and retaining top-flight talent to secure vital government and civilian computer networks and infrastructure. On his first full day as president, he outlined plans to declare the country's computer infrastructure a national asset that would be protected by a single cyber adviser who would report directly to him.

In addition to remaining unfilled, the position will no longer report directly to the president, causing some to question how effective the post will be. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.