United States names its first Chief Information Security Officer

Brigadier General (retired) Gregory J. Touhill gets the job of Putin-and-China-proofing America

US president Barack Obama has named the nation's first ever Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

Brigadier General (retired) Gregory J. Touhill has accepted the gig. He previously served as deputy assistant secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security, where it was his job to work on “development and implementation of operational programs designed to protect our government networks and critical infrastructure.” Along the way he opined that cybergeddon scenarios might be a bit overblown.

Tick the boxes for “relevant experience” and "doesn't fall for hype"!

The White House TEXT announcement of Touhill's appointment, penned by US CIO Tony Scott and cybersecurity coordinator J. Michael Daniel has the usual nice things to say about the new hire and say the job's goal is “to drive cybersecurity policy, planning, and implementation across the Federal Government.”

It's envisioned the CISO “will play a central role in helping to ensure the right set of policies, strategies, and practices are adopted across agencies and keeping the Federal Government at the leading edge of 21st century cybersecurity.”

Obama, for what it is worth, this week said the USA already possess the world's most formidable cyber-arsenal. That weaponry was assembled because the USA has had “problems with Russia”, plus some celebrated stoushes with China and North Korea.

Touhill has all manner of challenges to face, because despite the USA entering no-hack pacts with several nations they're not held to be worth the toner used to print them (even though toner is more expensive than almost anything on earth). And then there's putative president Donald Trump's threat to ask Russia to hack the United States, an idea surely mind boggling to even those who dream up US covert ops. So he's been given a deputy to help things out. Grant Schneider will serve as acting deputy CISO, a role created to ensure stronger leadership and set up continuity for the CSO role. ®


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017