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White House to hire its first chief information security officer

The new hire will have "oversight of relevant agency cybersecurity practices, and implementation across federal information technology system," according to the job description.
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Written by Zack Whittaker on
(Image: The White House/Flickr via Pete Souza)

The White House is looking to hire its first chief information security officer.

A job listing posted Tuesday comes just hours after US President Barack Obama announced a $5 billion increase in federal funding to make cybersecurity a top national security priority.

The move would put the successful candidate in charge of the federal "cybersecurity policy and strategy," the listing said.

The position will report to federal chief information officer Tony Scott, a former VMware executive, and will add to the existing tech team, including chief technology officer Megan Smith, who came from Google.

The move to hire a chief security figure for the federal government will likely be seen as long overdue. Most mid-size companies and higher have a staffer dedicated to ensuring the security and integrity of business data and devices, through policies and implementation. Even the Kellogg cereal company and the state of Colorado have someone to keep the hackers out, said The Guardian, which first reported the story.

Whoever takes on the roll will have their work cut out. In the past two years alone, a number of major data breaches have toppled the systems of some of the government's biggest agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and the Office of Personnel Management, which leaked details of millions of former and current civil servants.

The latest breach was just this week, when an unnamed hacker tapped into the systems of the Justice Department, which saw the personal details on as many as 20,000 FBI employees and 9,000 Homeland Security employees taken.

The listing closes on February 26.

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