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[ISN] Q&A: Amit Yoran talks cybersecurity


By Elinor Mills
InSecurity Complex
CNet News
October 7, 2009

West Point graduate Amit Yoran went from security work in the Air Force, 
the Defense Department, and private industry before being tapped as 
director of cybersecurity for the Department Homeland Security.

He joined DHS in September 2003 and left about a year later, the first 
of several cybersecurity directors to have a short tenure. Now, the 
38-year-old is chief executive of security firm NetWitness.

During the first week of National Cyber Security Awareness month, Yoran 
talked to CNET News about his efforts getting a federal cybersecurity 
program off the ground, how no organization is safe from attack and why 
he is "anti-user." Here is the edited interview.

Q: The big question on everyone's mind is when will the administration 
appoint a new cybersecurity czar and who will it be? Do you have any 
comments on that?

Yoran: (Laughs) Apparently, they'll report it when they're good and 
ready. I don't have any particular comment on that.

There's been a lot of talk about the structure. Do you think the 
position should report to the White House or an agency like the National 
Security Agency? Should the official snoops be in charge of protecting 
security and privacy?

Yoran: (Laughs) Is that a biased question? No. In my mind clearly the 
right thing to do is to put a coordinator at the White House. NSA has a 
key role in cyber, but they've got their mission focus and there's a 
number of other departments. And agencies that have other priorities and 
activities in cyber that are relevant and need to be coordinated at the 
White House level.


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