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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
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
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.