September 1, 2009  


To the White House for a dismal start to its cybersecurity campaign. When President Barack Obama pledged in May “to deter, prevent, detect and defend against attacks” and make cybersecurity a “top national priority,” it looked like there would finally be high-level and coordinated action against this real and potentially devastating threat. Months later, however, the scorecard is embarrassingly in the negative. The cybersecurity chief position remains vacant and two people who could have been expert advisers, White House cyberspace senior director Melissa Hathaway and Homeland Security Department Computer Emergency Readiness Team director Mischel Kwon, have resigned. Meanwhile, there’s been another widespread computer attack that hit several government agencies, including the Treasury Department and Secret Service. The president is losing the momentum that his high-profile cybersecurity announcement sought to spark. What are we waiting for?