Ex-cybersecurity czar focuses on global coordination

A former White House cybersecurity adviser is working to build an international cybersecurity partnership program under contract to the Homeland Security Department.

The intent of the program is to coordinate global efforts on cybersecurity and cyber crime, identify gaps and develop "metrics" for measuring success. "It's almost like creating a NATO of the cyber security world," said Howard Schmidt, a former adviser to President Bush.

Schmidt is building the program based on the operational elements of a national cyber security program developed by the former director of Homeland Security's cybersecurity division, Amit Yoran, who left in the fall.

Schmidt said he hopes to have the partnership in place by early summer but those involved are not looking for fanfare. Some companies have pledged support but asked that their names not be used. Schmidt's project complements the separate, private-sector National Cyber Security Partnership, he said.

Through his consulting firm, R&H Security Consulting, Schmidt is on a $383,000 contract to provide leadership and assistance in developing the program for the National Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which joined forces with Homeland Security last year. Schmidt scaled back his work at eBay to do the partnership work, which he said in a Tuesday interview has been time-consuming.

The contract includes $120,000 for international travel, a figure Schmidt said was an estimate and was arrived at without his input. Schmidt is the only consultant in the firm, which has some administrative support based on the West Coast, he said.

The role of US-CERT and Homeland Security in cyber security is to coordinate the variety of efforts taking place in institutions, intergovernmental bodies and the private sector, Schmidt said.

He said his role has not changed with the departure of Yoran. Among other projects, Schmidt participated in a confidential departmental meeting with cyber-security stakeholders last week in Wye River, Md. That meeting brought together experts from a wide range of perspectives to share views.

One issue debated at the meeting was what information government and the private sector should share with each other, according to participants. Both sides have long said they need more information to better protect cyber assets.

Schmidt spoke Tuesday after participating in an interagency workshop on cyber security held at the Commerce Department. At the event, a new publication was released by the American Bar Association's privacy and computer crime committee. The new booklet draws together key points from three preceding publications on cyber crime, security and privacy.

The Wye River meeting was led by Andy Purdy, acting director of the Homeland Security Department's cyber-security division. Schmidt downplayed the impact on the nation's cyber security of the departure of Yoran and last week's news of the departure of US-CERT Director Larry Hale.

"The vast majority of work has to be done in the private sector," he said. "I'm not that concerned."

But Schmidt did say the level of the official responsible for cyber security is important because it can bring resources and authority to get things done.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.