Hathaway to Lead Cybersecurity Review
Melissa Hathaway, who directed a federal task force to oversee former US president George W. Bush's cybersecurity plan, is taking on a new role under President Barack Obama that will begin with a reexamination of the policy she helped shape.
On 9 February, Obama ordered a 60-day review of the Comprehensive National Cyber Initiative (CNCI) and other activities related to cybersecurity, tapping Hathaway to lead the study. Insiders say the former Booz Allen Hamilton consultant is likely to get the top post in a new cybersecurity office once the study is complete.
Hathaway had a central role in developing CNCI, working with the Director of National Intelligence to lead a cyber study group in 2007, then helming the Joint Interagency Cyber Task Force to steer the initiative's implementation. In an IEEE Security & Privacy interview with the Cyber Defense Agency's O. Sami Saydjari late last year, Hathaway discussed the plan and government's role in thwarting cyberattacks.
It's unknown what changes Hathaway might recommend following the review, and the White House didn't give any hints about its intentions. During his campaign, Obama said preventing cyberattacks and strengthening online infrastructure would be a priority in his administration. On the White House Web site, a large part of Obama's homeland security agenda is devoted to information networks, such as establishing cybersecurity standards, preventing cyberespionage, and shutting down untraceable Internet payment schemes.
"The national security and economic health of the United States depend on the security, stability, and integrity of our nation's cyberspace, both in the public and private sectors," homeland security aide John Brennan said in a statement. "The president is confident that we can protect our nation's critical cyber infrastructure while at the same time adhering to the rule of law and safeguarding privacy rights and civil liberties.
According to a CNet report, the 60-day review could lead to a departmental shake-up, with the National Security Council taking on much of the cybersecurity efforts previously handled by the US Department of Homeland Security.
>> Read the full IEEE Security & Privacy interview from Computing Now's December issue