The search for a U.S.cyber-security coordinator has officially ended.
After months of searching, U.S. President Barack Obama selected Howard Schmidt to step into the role. Schmidt, president and CEOof the Information Security Forum, has served as chief security officer for Microsoft and as chief information security officer at eBay.
His selection comes 10 months after Obama ordered an administration review of the nation’s cyber-security, and at a time when increasing attention is being paid to cyber-threats against the country’s critical infrastructure. In recent months, there have been a number of examples of high-profile breaches and attacks, from cyber-assaults on the electric grid to Iraqi militants intercepting unencrypted video feeds from U.S.military drones.
According to Schmidt, he has been tasked with focusing on several key areas: developing a new comprehensive strategy to secure American networks, ensuring an organized response to cyber-incidents, strengthening international partnerships and promoting research and development of new technologies. He also will be in charge of leading a national campaign to increase awareness of cyber-threats.
“I’m honored to have been selected by President Obama, and look forward to returning to public service working with both his national security and economic counsels,” Schmidt said in a speech.
“In our digital world, the information technologies we depend on every day present us with both great opportunity and great danger for our national security, public safety and our economic competitiveness as well as our personal privacy…our dependency on these wonderful technologies continues to increase with each new innovation, as does our shared responsibility to protect our security and our privacy,” he said.