Melissa Hathaway, Rod Beckstrom and Paul Kurtz are the forerunners in the race to be the U.S. government’s first “cyber czar.” Don Adams, the Palo Alto-based chief technology officer, Worldwide, Public Sector for tech giant Tibco, said in a statement.
The Obama administration’s information security chief (a job title that still needs to be confirmed) will be tasked to protect the nation’s government-run and private computer networks. He or she will report directly to the president, and possibly to the economic and national security departments.
Hathaway is the interim White House cybersecurity adviser and a former intelligence official. Rod Beckstrom served as the former director of the National Cybersecurity Center at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Paul Kurtz is the former senior director for national security of the Office of Cyberspace Security in the White House’s National Security Council.
Adams explained what the responsibilities of the new cyber czar would entail:
“What are needed initially are clear processes, policies and a lot of coordination between all agencies and their political and technical leadership. This is going to be a long and protracted battle. Not just against the perpetrators of cyber threat, but internally in the back rooms over budgets, responsibilities and authority within and between departments and agencies.”
The United States is the most-attacked country by hackers, phishers and malicious software, according to Symantec’s Government Internet Security Threat Report.