By J. Nicholas Hoover
May 26, 2009
President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced the White House will create
a new directorate or position within the executive branch to deal with
cybersecurity, under the direction of the National Security Advisor.
The new cybersecurity directorate or position would be part of a new
group of advisers called the National Security Staff -- consolidated
international and homeland security support staff -- that would report
to the National Security Advisor, the president said. As news of
government cybersecurity concerns, including intrusions into the power
grid and sensitive Air Force technical systems information, reaches a
crescendo, experts have increasingly called for better cybersecurity
leadership, with many proposing White House roles.
Obama is expected to announce the top post Friday, May 29, following a
complete review of the federal government's cybersecurity policies and
procedures. It isn't clear what, if any, authority the cybersecurity
chief will have over private networks.
"It's the White House that can be the referee, the traffic cop, the
carrot and stick, the one trying to make sure the efforts are organized,
and that's the right kind of role for a central authority on this
subject," Bruce Brody, chief security officer for The Analysis Group,
said in a recent interview, when asked about the possibility of more
centralized authority for cybersecurity.