Cigital Participates in White House Discussion on the Progress of the President’s Cybersecurity Efforts

by gem on Friday, July 16, 2010

On Wednesday July 14, 2010, US Cyber Security Coordinator Howard Schmidt convened a hastily called meeting of around 100 public and private sector security experts at the White House to explain the progress he has made in the six months since he joined the administration. I was there. In an unexpected and exciting surprise, President Obama stopped by the meeting and spoke for 15-20 minutes.

Here is a picture I took of President Obama addressing the meeting. Howard Schmidt is to the far left. Beside him is Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Undersecretary Phil Reitinger. The moment President Obama entered the meeting was electric. Attendees immediately stood and gave him an ovation. The room was energized, and the President’s charisma was palpable. I, for one, was proud to be there.

In addition to remarks from President Obama and Howard Schmidt, the meeting was addressed by two cabinet Secretaries—Janet Napolitano, Secretary of DHS, and Gary Locke, Secretary of Commerce. The invitation-only event included members of the Administration, state and local government officials, law enforcement officers, select industry executives, academics and representatives from privacy and civil liberties groups. Attendees who I know included Matt Blaze, Carl Landwehr, Ed Amoroso, Marc Rotenberg, Eugene Spafford, Mischel Kwon, and John Savage.

I wrote up my thoughts on the meeting in an informIT article “Obama Highlights Cyber Security Progress: Private Sector Security Experts Convene at the White House to Discuss the National Cyber Securiy Agenda.”

Howard described his impressions of the meeting and its purpose on the White House blog. An official progress report is also available there.

One Response to “Cigital Participates in White House Discussion on the Progress of the President’s Cybersecurity Efforts”

  1. […] been elevated to State of the Union level is a good thing.  Of course, the President has mentioned cyber security in speeches and presentations before, so this is not necessarily a new development.  In fact, it’s time for all of the talking […]