Tuesday, December 22, 2009

National cybersecurity coordinator choice widely applauded

Former industry and government cybersecurity official Howard Schmidt will be a good national cybersecurity coordinator, according to many in the information technology industry. President Obama appointed Schmidt to the post today, seven months after first announcing the creation of the position.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Roger Thornton, chief technology officer of Fortify Software, where Schmidt sits on the board of directors.

In the months since Obama first announced the position, rumors have circulated about a number of public- and private-sector officials as potential candidates for the job, including several powerful corporate chief executives and lawmakers, incuding former Rep. Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican who chaired the House Government Reform Committee during much of the George W. Bush administration.

“But the thing that Howard brings is that he has been in government on the [Defense Department] side and in the executive branch for years, and he has had some high-profile security jobs in industry and headed up industry associations,” Thornton said. “You need someone with enough government experience to be trusted, but enough industry experience to understand the problems.”

Schmidt was cybersecurity adviser during the Bush administration, and before that was chief information security officer (CISO) at Microsoft and at eBay. He also served in the Air Force and has worked with the FBI, and currently is president of the Information Security Forum. GNC


  1. Whoa! Sounds like a good pick. Hope he enforces the June deadline on the Red Flags.