Thursday, March 12, 2009

DHS Appoints Microsoft Executive to Secure Government Computers

(from You might not think it's newsworthy when the Department of Homeland Security fills a job vacancy. But it's news when a department that has security in its name actually appoints someone with security in his background.

Unfortunately, in this case, the security background comes courtesy of Microsoft, which might cause some to ponder the phrase "unclear on the concept."

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that she was appointing Philip Reitinger to the position of deputy undersecretary of the department's National Protections Program Directorate. The job requires Reitinger to oversee the protection of the government's computer networks and work with the private sector to help secure critical infrastructures.

Reitinger comes to DHS from his job as chief trustworthy infrastructure strategist for Microsoft, a job that required him in part to help develop and implement strategies for enhancing the security of critical infrastructures.

But since many people in the security industry feel that Microsoft has played a large role in the lack of security (.pdf) with government and infrastructure systems, his appointment might be considered what some would call ironic (.pdf).

A DHS spokeswoman indicated that the appointment is a signal of how seriously Napolitano takes the issue of computer security. [...]

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