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22 December 2009, 17:18

New US National Cybersecurity Coordinator introduced

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Zoom US President Barack Obama greets Howard A. Schmidt at the White House on the 17th of December.
Source: White House
On Tuesday, the White House in Washington DC announced that it had appointed Howard A. Schmidt as the new US National Cybersecurity Coordinator. In an announcement email, John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said that Schmidt is "one of the world’s leading authorities on computer security, with some 40 years of experience in government, business and law enforcement". In the early 90s, the former police officer oversaw several departments, such as the FBI's Computer Exploitation Team at the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC). Later, he developed one of the US authorities' first computer forensics laboratories.

In 1997, Schmidt switched to the private sector, holding positions that included Chief Security Officer (CSO) at Microsoft. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, US President George W. Bush reappointed him to the White House staff as his Cyberspace Security Advisor. In 2003, Schmidt switched back to the private sector and became Chief Information Security Officer at eBay. A year later, he returned to work for the US Government at the US Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT), which is part of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Schmidt's most recent position was that of President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the London-based Information Security Forum (ISF), an independent organisation which, according to its own website, supplies guidance on "all aspects of information security", developing and publishing practical solutions for corporate security problems. In his new position as National Cybersecurity Coordinator, Schmidt will be responsible for coordinating the IT security guidelines for the US military and administrative authorities. He reports to the US National Security Advisor, General James L. Jones.


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