Howard Schmidt made his public debut as the White House’s cybersecurity coordinator yesterday at the Congressional Internet Caucus’ annual State of the Net conference. He opened, “The president has been clear in designating me his lead officer” for government cybersecurity.
He said that his “direct linkage to the national security staff as well as the National Economic Council” that will temper the needs of security with concerns for economic freedom. Also, Schmidt defines his job as risk mitigation, not risk elimination. “There are no absolutes. We will never have 100 percent security and still have an open society.”
Schmidt is encouraged that federal CTO Chopra and federal CIO Kundra see his position as aiding information technology innovation rather than hindering it. Schmidt said that his goals for his new job were to:
- Update the government’s network security strategy
- Develop coordinated incident response capabilities between public and private sector interests
- Develop international and public/private cooperation on cybersecurity
- Increase cyber R&D investment
- Increase public awareness of cyber threats.