Entrepreneur chosen to head new DHS cybersecurity initiative

Share this article:
A Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author has been selected to run a new government organization whose mission is to protect the computer networks of federal agencies from attack, his former company announced on Thursday.

Rod Beckstrom – who founded Twiki.net, provider of collaboration software for businesses – will take over as the first director of the newly created National Cyber Security Center, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a statement by his company.

Beckstrom has limited cybersecurity experience, but experts believe his belief in a decentralized approach to business success could work well in the government IT setting. He authored the best-selling book The Starfish and the Spider, which examines the power of decentralized organizations.

The National Cyber Security Center will be responsible for coordinating information-sharing around cyberattacks that target government agencies, according to a report in the Washington Post.

Hacker attempts at infiltrating government networks have gained widespread notoriety in recent months.

Johannes Ullrich, chief research officer of the SANS Internet Storm Center, applauded the appointment as a step in the right direction.

“There has to be more coordination and policy governing these government networks,” he told SCMagazineUS.com on Thursday. “They're huge and pretty diverse. They're just so complex and grew without much oversight.”

Beckstrom's role will differ from that of Greg Garcia, who was appointed in September 2006 to fill the vacant position of assistant secretary for cybersecurity and telecommunications, also under the DHS.

Ullrich said he thinks Beckstrom's background may benefit him in the new position.

“To some extent, at this level, it's less about the technical aspect as much as it is about the administrative and political aspect of the job,” he said.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of SC Magazine to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

More in News

Reported breaches involving zero-day bug at JPMorgan Chase, other banks

Reported breaches involving zero-day bug at JPMorgan Chase, ...

Hackers exploited a zero-day vulnerability and gained access to sensitive information from JPMorgan Chase and at least four other financial institutions, reports indicate.

Data on 97K Bugzilla users posted online for about three months

During a migration of the testing server for test builds of Bugzilla software, data on about 97,000 Bugzilla users was inadvertently posted publicly online.

Chinese national had access to data on 5M Arizona drivers, possible breach ...

Although Lizhong Fan left the U.S. in 2007, the agencies responsible for giving him access to Americans' personal information have yet to disclose the details of the case to the public.