homelandsecA couple of days ago, DHS secretary, Janet Napolitano announced the appointment of Microsoft’s current Chief Trustworthy Infrastructure Strategist, Philip Reitinger as the Deputy Undersecretary of the Department’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD).

The role  is responsible to ensure the protection of US government’s computers and networks from cyber attacks.

DHS recently came under much scrutiny after the resignation of Rod Beckstrom as director of DHS’s National Cyber Security Center, where Beckstrom complained of lacking of funding and NSA meddling.

At yesterday’s House Cybersecurity Hearing, there is a consensus among those who testified that, DHS demonstrated “inefficiency and leadership failure”,  “administrative incompetence” and “political infighting”.

David Powner, a director in GAO, reiterate a recent GAO recommendations made in the testimony, “the need for a clearly articulated national strategy on cybersecurity with specific goals and priorities, a formal governance structure for implementing the strategy and a direct White House role in leading and overseeing national cybersecurity policies.”

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the subcommittee that held the hearing, called on Melissa Hathaway to focus on three key issues in her review: the need for a national cybersecurity strategy, high-level leadership concerns and any policy and legal shortfalls that might hamper future cybersecurity efforts.

“What has been lacking is the courage and leadership to actually implement these recommendations,” said Yvette Clarke.

Looks like Philip Reitinger has the works cut out for him.

Update 15 March: Highly recommended to watch the 1.5 hr video recording of the hearing and the written testimony can be found here.

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