Four Months Later and the Best the White House Gives Us is “Practice Safe Computing”
October 2, 2009 Leave a comment
I happened to glance at the morning news to see President Obama fervently pitching the Chicago bid for the 2016 Olympics in Copenhagen with the First Lady. Clearly the President’s priority has shifted from cyber security to more important matters. In fairness, the President did seem to find time between appearances on David Lettermen and other important media exposures to declare October National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
Four months have now passed since the original announcement of the cyber czar position in late May, and we have an awareness month with no cyber security leader to preside over the proceedings. But we have a proclamation from the White House urging all of to “practice safe computing”. Is it just me or does this sound like “just say no to malware”? Now we have the cyber criminals on the run!
We need to share information and we need to focus on the greater good, so that we can stop the next cyber attack. The longer this post remains vacant, the longer the government’s security efforts continue to lack a unified approach. A September 27 article in the MIT Technology Review indicates that there are now 18 separate bills introduced in Congress to “give federal authorities the power to protect the country in the event of a massive cyberattack.” There are 18 bills because others are moving to fill the void that exists because four months after the position was announced there still is no leadership.
Our President acknowledged months ago that we need to make a change, but to date the biggest change continues to get delayed. Maybe it is because no one wants it, because the role has not been positioned to succeed. Regardless of the reason, we need a cyber security leader now, and we need the president to make this a priority again.
In the official proclamation, President Obama makes calls “upon the people of the United States to recognize the importance of cybersecurity”. Good advice indeed, Mr. President. Perhaps you would like to lead by example and fill the position you promised four months ago.