The current acting Cyber Security Coordinator at the White House, Chris Painter, recently responded to the growing criticism targeting the White House’s inability to fill the position permanently. At the Federal Chief Information Officers Council’s 2009 Federal Identity Management and Cybersecurity Conference on Tuesday, he said “It’s a mistake to think that without a coordinator we’re not making progress,” according to an article on govinfosecurity.com.
Currently, Painter conducts meetings on a weekly basis with a number of federal cyber security officials. He says “We’re dealing with all the agencies. This isn’t an issue that will be resolved overnight. A coordinator will add a lot to this effort, but we’re making progress on core issues. We’re not sitting around.”
Following the Cyberspace Policy Review conducted back in May 2009 by Melissa Hathaway, President Obama announced his intention to appoint a cyber coordinator who would be based in the White House. However, now seven months on, he has yet to appoint when. The majority of suspected candidates have all withdrawn from the running.
The problem is the position itself. Individuals, like Mischel Kwon, former head of US CERT, point out that the authority of the position and who the coordinator would report to does not give the individual enough power to actually coordinate cyber security on the national level.