Feeds

Schmidt named Obama cybersecurity czar

Months long wait finally over

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Howard Schmidt was confirmed as President Obama's cybersecurity czar on Tuesday, confirming an earlier prediction by AP that the long vacant role was about to be filled.

Schmidt is a former White House security advisor to George W. Bush with extensive career spells at eBay and Microsoft. He certainly has the diplomatic skills and technical knowledge to fulfill the role, but his selection comes after months of dithering and inaction on an appointment, raising questions of its own.

Schmidt

Schmidt at a recent London information security conference

Obama declared cyber security a priority and ordered a broad review ten months ago. Melissa Hathaway, who recommended the creation of a cybersecurity czar after running the two month review for the Obama administration, resigned as an Obama advisor back in August after losing her earlier interest in becoming White House cybersecurity chief.

Delays in naming a cybersecurity coordinator, together with speculation that other candidates - including Microsoft's Scott Charney and Congressman Tom Davis - had turned down the job, increased the feeling that the role would come with responsibility but no power. For one thing, the cybersecurity chief will be obliged to report to both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council.

Schmidt faces a huge swathe of problems, including formulating an updated strategy for defending critical national infrastructure (utilities, transport, banking etc.) from hacking attacks, as well as a plan for raising consumer awareness about risks such as scareware and phishing. He will have to negotiate a political minefield to get anything done, not least because several agencies (including the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security) are vying for alpha male status in defining federal cybersecurity strategy.

A White House statement on Schmidt's appointment can be found here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.