Obama Appoints Federal Chief Information Security Officer

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By George R. Lynch

The Obama Administration today appointed Brigadier General Gregory J. Touhill as the first Federal Chief Information Security Officer.

The White House statement said the appointment of a federal CISO is a “key feature” of the White House's Cybersecurity National Action Plan that it announced in February (15 PVLR 317, 2/15/16). As CISO, Touhill will “drive cybersecurity policy, planning, and implementation across the Federal Government,” according to the statement posted on the White House blog.

Touhill is the deputy assistant secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security. He previously served as the director of Command, Control, Communications and Cyber Systems for the U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

The White House also announced that Grant Schneider is the first acting deputy CISO. Schneider is the director for cybersecurity policy for the White House's National Security Council staff.

“The CISO will play a central role in helping to ensure the right set of policies, strategies, and practices are adopted across agencies and keeping the Federal Government at the leading edge of 21st century cybersecurity,” the statement said.

The appointments come a day after a congressional report concluded that federal agencies continue to lag in cybersecurity preparedness.

To contact the reporter on this story: George R. Lynch in Washington at glynch@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald G. Aplin at daplin@bna.com

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