Schmidt to lead Obama's cybersecurity drive

With the appointment of former Bush administration and eBay staffer Howard Schmidt to cybersecurity coordinator, President Obama has finally reached his goal of "personally selecting" a cybersecurity czar.

A letter announcing Schmidt's appointment on the White House website on Tuesday, said that Schmidt will "have regular access to the President and serve as a key member of his National Security Staff. He will also work closely with his economic team to ensure that our cybersecurity efforts keep the Nation secure and prosperous."

Schmidt will have a lot on his plate to deal with. He will be tasked with organizing cybersecurity policy throughout the federal government, including both defense and civilian agencies. Schmidt's appointment also coincides with the Pentagon's debut of its "cyber-command" unit and the Department of Homeland Security's securing of civilian networks.

Securing a permanent cybersecurity chief hasn't been easy. Schmidt will take over the reins from de factor coordinator Christopher Painter, who has been advancing the 60-day cyberspace review plan that Obama launched in May. In the process of developing that plan, Melissa Hathaway--a top choice to fill the cybersecurity czar role--instead left the White House in August.

For more:
- The Washington Post has this article

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