At the Gartner annual Information Security Summit the National Cyber Security Council director Christopher Painter assured skeptics in the cyber community that the Obama administration is taking cyber security seriously and there will be action. Critics are worried that with no budgetary authority the ‘cyber czar’ will become no more than a figurehead and be boggled down by the infamous turf wars that plague our government. Painter gave input to the 60-Day White House Cyberspace Review released in May and believes cyber security action will take place under the current administration because unlike the two previous administrations, cyber has the attention and mandate of the President.
Painter described Obama’s speach on cybersecurity in may as, “That’s really a watershed event. That really sets the tone, not only in this country, but around the world.” Painter also noted the efforts of the previous White House administration to forward US cybersecurity, “We had a strategy in 2003, but you didn’t have the president coming out and giving a speech on this, and that’s really, really important.”
In light of President Obama’s scheduled tour of Russia next week where cybersecurity will be discussed,”It is clear that given the ubiquitous borderless nature of computer systems and computer networks that it doesn’t matter if we do everything right” if other nations aren’t on board, he said. “We need to have a dialogue with other countries.”
“The cybersecurity coordinator is going to work very closely with [Obama’s] CTO and CIO,” acknowledged Painter. “The idea is, when we’re thinking about these new technologies, we’re thinking about security.”