Tags: US | Cyber | Czar

White House Picks New Cyber Coordinator

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2009 07:09 AM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

The White House has tapped a corporate cyber security expert and former Bush administration official to lead the effort to shore up the country's computer networks and better coordinate with companies that operate 80 percent of those critical systems.

Howard A. Schmidt, a former eBay and Microsoft executive, will become the government's cyber security coordinator, weathering a rocky selection process that dragged on for months, as others turned the job down.

President Barack Obama is expected to make the announcement Tuesday, according to a senior White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been made public yet.

Special: Get Sarah Palin’s New Book – Incredible FREE Offer -- Click Here Now.  

Schmidt's selection comes more than 10 months after Obama declared cyber security a priority and ordered a broad administration review.

The official said Obama was personally involved in the selection process and chose Schmidt because of his unique background and skills. Schmidt will have regular and direct access to the president for cyber security issues, the official said.

Obama released the findings of the cyber security review nearly seven months ago, vowing that the White House would name a cyber coordinator to deal with one of the "most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation."

Corporate computer security leaders have openly expressed frustration with the White House as movement on the job post stalled.

At the same time, cyber experts and potential job candidates have complained that the position lacks the budgetary and policy-making authority needed to be successful. Schmidt will report to the National Security Council and closely support the National Economic Council on cyber issues.

Schmidt's selection suggests that economic and business interests in the White House held more sway in the selection process. Schmidt, president and CEO of the Information Security Forum, a nonprofit international consortium that conducts research in information security, has served as chief security officer for Microsoft and as cyber security chief for online auction giant eBay. He was reportedly preferred by Lawrence Summers, director of the economic council.

Roger Thornton, a cyber security expert and chief technology officer for Fortify Software, praised the choice. He said Schmidt understands the technology, has broad management experience and has worked well within the political arena, a key requirement for the White House post.

"I think he would be able to get people to compromise and move things forward," said Thornton.

U.S. government computer systems are being attacked or scanned millions of times a day. Hackers and cyber criminals pose an expanding threat, using increasingly sophisticated technologies to steal money or information, while nation-states probe for weaknesses in order to steal classified documents or technology or destroy the networks that run vital services.

Considered an expert in computer forensics, Schmidt's roughly 40-year career includes 31 years in local and federal government service, including a stint as vice chairman of President George W. Bush's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board. He also was for a short time an adviser to the FBI and worked at the National Drug Intelligence Center.

Congress members, business leaders and cyber security experts have called for a more coordinated effort by the federal government to monitor and protect U.S. systems and work with the private sector to insure that transportation systems, energy plants and other sensitive networks are equally protected.

——

On the Net:

White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Players' Union: Ray Rice Wins Appeal of His Indefinite Suspension

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 15:36 PM

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is eligible for reinstatement by the National Football League after winnin . . .

Legal Immigrants Being Blocked in Latest Obamacare Glitch

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 14:27 PM

Legal immigrants, eligible for Obamacare, are running into problems when they try to sign up for coverage on HealthCare. . . .

Cosby Said He Blocked 2005 Tabloid Story about Sex-Assault Accuser

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 12:42 PM

Comedian Bill Cosby struck a deal with the National Enquirer in 2005 to give the tabloid an exclusive interview about a  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved