Schmidt: No Cyber ‘Leadership Vacuum’

White House cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt

Howard Schmidt, White House cybersecurity coordinator, said in a recent interview there is no leadership vacuum in federal cybersecurity efforts.

And for proof, look no further than his office.

“When you look at the composition of our office — and the president established it — there were a number of things we are looking at: federal cybersecurity, private sector environment and critical infrastructure, international environment and … the business needs of this thing, what are the economic issues we deal with and workforce development,” he said, in an interview with Federal News Radio. “We’ve got the broad brush in our office and that’s the way we operate.”

Since being appointed cybersecurity coordinator in 2009, Schmidt said he has been greeted by federal officials who are willing participants in efforts to shore up federal cybersecurity.

“It’s not a matter of having to go in and sell the importance of cybersecurity with departments and agencies,” he said. “Agency deputy secretaries and secretaries are giving this tremendous attention. Everyone gets it and wants to figure out how do we make it better.”

Federal News Radio reported in its wrap-up of the interview that, increasingly, Schmidt and the Office of Management and Budget are doing more behind-the-scenes work.

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