A retired brigadier general has been appointed as the first chief information security officer (CISO) for the US federal government.
The appointment was announced yesterday as part of Barack Obama's Cybersecurity National Action Plan unveiled in February.
Brigadier general Gregory Touhill (pictured) will be charged with driving cyber security policy, including planning and implementation across the US federal government.
Touhill is currently deputy assistant secretary for cyber security and communications in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security.
His remit is the development and implementation of operational programmes intended to protect US government networks and critical infrastructure.
"In his new role as federal CISO, Touhill will leverage his considerable experience in managing a range of complex and diverse technical solutions at scale with his strong knowledge of civilian and military best practices, capabilities and human capital training, development and retention strategies," said US government CIO Tony Scott in a blog post.
Touhill's team will work under the Office of Management and Budget, the largest office in the Executive Office of the President of the US, the most prominent function of which is to produce the president's budget.
The US government also named Grant Schneider as acting deputy CISO.
"In creating the CISO role, and looking at successful organisational models across government, it became apparent that having a career role partnered with a senior official is not only the norm but provides needed continuity over time," said Scott.
Schneider is currently director for cyber security policy on the National Security Council staff at the White House, where his remit is the development and oversight of cyber security policies to protect government data, networks and systems. He will bring more than 20 years of technical skills to the new role.
"Building on the Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy to identify, recruit and retain top talent, the CISO will play a central role in helping to ensure that the right set of policies, strategies and practices are adopted across agencies and keeping the federal government at the leading edge of 21st century cyber security," concluded Scott.
Strong demand for CISOs in the UK and US has seen a surge in remuneration for candidates who fit the right profile.
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