Feeds

Obama closes in on cybersecurity czar appointment

Former Clinton-era Pentagon official emerges as front runner

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

US President Barack Obama is reportedly close to appointing a new White House cybersecurity chief.

Frank Kramer, former assistant defense secretary under President Bill Clinton, is likely to inherit the job within two weeks, filling a vacant position that has existed since the office was established more than three months ago, Reuters reports.

The news agency quotes an unnamed source on the appointment and Aneesh Chopra, chief technology officer of the federal government and a member of the interview panel, in supporting the general thrust of the article that an appointment is close.

The title of White House cybersecurity coordinator sounds impressive but the executive in charge of the role would be obliged to report to both to the National Security Council and the National Economic Council. Instead of being placed in a position to exert real influence, the role is increasingly seen as consultative and advisory, Computerworld reports.

Delays in naming a cybersecurity coordinator, together with reports that well placed candidates including Microsoft's Scott Charney and Congressman Tom Davis had turned down the job, increased the perception that the role would be nowhere as influential as first suggested. Melissa Hathaway, who recommended the creation of the role after running a 60-day cybersecurity review for the Obama administration, resigned from her role as an Obama advisor back in August withdrawing her earlier interest in becoming White House cybersecurity chief.

Hathaway, a former Bush administration official, cited frustration at delays in filling the role in her decision to withdraw.

Kramer, or whoever gets appointed to the cybersecurity czar role, faces a bulging inbox of problems including establishing a strategy for defending critical national infrastructure systems (banking, utilities etc.) from attack. He or she will have to be an adept political operator to get anything done, especially with multiple agencies (including the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security) vying for influence in leading federal cybersecurity strategy.

More information on the Obama administration's cybersecurity policy review and related speeches can be found on the White House website here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches
CloudPassage points to 'pervasive' threat of Bash bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.