After nearly seven months of waiting, the White House has finally named Howard Schmidt as cybersecurity coordinator. According to the White House, Schmidt will serve as a member of the president’s national security staff with regular access to the president and will also serve on the president’s economic council.
In his new position, Schmidt will seek to coordinate the nation’s approach to cybersecurity issues. Discussing his appointment, Schmidt said, “This cyber threat represents one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation” and that he is looking forward to working on this national security challenge.
Schmidt is certainly a particularly well-qualified candidate. He spent the past 40 years in a variety of positions in law enforcement, DoD, industry and the executive branch. His previous position was president and CEO of the Information Security Forum, focused on cyber risk and research.
Schmidt has been directed by the president to focus on the following critical areas:
– Developing new strategy to secure U.S. networks
– Forming an organized response to future incidents
– Strengthen partnerships both abroad and at home
– Research and development
– National campaign to promote cybersecurity awareness and education
Schmidt is “committed to bringing all these stakeholders together around a new comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that keeps America secure and prosperous.”
The coming year will prove to be a busy one for Schmidt, as he looks to sort out his responsibilities and authority. Failure is not an option.