Security professionals form CSO council

A group of information security professionals has formed a "Global Council of CSOs" (chief security officers) in an effort to better address online security challenges.

Formation of the council is scheduled to be announced Wednesday at an event in San Francisco hosted by a founding member of the group, eBay Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Howard Schmidt, a former White House cybersecurity advisor and Microsoft CSO.

The group seeks to improve online security by bringing together expertise from academic, corporate and government backgrounds, according to a statement announcing the council. Although all initial members are U.S.-based experts, the council is open to others, an eBay spokesman said Tuesday.

The council will work as a professional organization, bringing together information security professionals so they can better define their roles and work on the issues that are part of the online world, the eBay spokesman said. "Cybersecurity is an evolving space. You need to stay ahead of the game," he said.

Among the initial ten council members is Scott Charney, chief security strategist at Microsoft. "To address the issues that are presented in the modern cybersecurity arena, you really need actions across the spectrum. It is critical for businesses to band together," said Philip Reitinger, Microsoft senior security strategist and a member of Charney's staff.

"We all have to recognize that cybersecurity is not just a technical issue or government issue, it is a management issue," Reitinger said. "CSOs have a critical responsibility for providing the security of the IT infrastructure of businesses. Getting such a group together can further secure those businesses and generally secure infrastructure across the board."

Other charter council members, are Bill Boni, CISO of Motorola, Vint Cerf, senior vice president of technology strategy at MCI, Dave Cullinane, CISO at Washington Mutual, Mary Ann Davidson, CSO at Oracle, Whitfield Diffie, security specialist and former CSO at Sun Microsystems, Steve Katz, former CISO of Citigroup, Rhonda MacLean, director of corporate information security at Bank of America, and Will Pelgrin, director of the New York state Office of Cyber Security & Critical Infrastructure Coordination, according to the statement.

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