Cybersecurity Continuity – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I was very fortunate to have been invited to participate in a brainstorming session that Hathaway hosted last fall and to see her in action first hand. My confidence index rose considerably when I saw her sincere effort to obtain opinions from a broad range of experts in both the public and private sectors. I am again hopeful that good progress will be made over the next several years in protecting the US critical cyber infrastructure.



The disappointing news was the resignation of Rod Beckstrom on March 5, 2009, about a year after taking on the role of “cybersecurity chief.” This is reported in a March 7 Wall Street Journal article, again by Siobhan Gorman, available at  Beckstrom’s complaints about what he saw as an inappropriate assumption of power and the resultant reduction in effectiveness of his role is reminiscent of those articulated by colleague Amit Yoran when he resigned in the fall of 2004, also about a year after taking on the role designated by the press as “cybersecurity chief.” Quick observation … Is there something about being in the job for one year that results in resignation? Beckstrom is considered an expert in organizational governance, as warranted by his popular book The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations. However, it appears from his resignation letter that he was stymied by the organizational circumstances which confronted him in his government role.


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