The Public Eye with Eric Chabrow

Dark Horse Tops List of 2009 Interviewees

Dark Horse Tops List of 2009 Interviewees

We interviewed many big names in government cybersecurity this past year, including the new White House cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt; Melissa Hathaway; who conducted President Obama's 60-Day Cybersecurity Policy Review; Homeland Security Deputy Undersecretary Philip Reitinger; and new NIST Director Patrick Gallagher. Several influential lawmakers past and present also answered our queries, including Sen. Tom Carper; who is authoring FISMA reform; former Rep. Tom Davis; who wrote the Federal Information Security Management Act, House Cybersecurity Caucus Co-Chair Rep. James Langevin; and several others.

Still, with all these renowned cybersecurity leaders, our most popular interview of the past year - the one accessed more than any other by visitors to - was the conversation I had with little-known Deborah Frincke, the top computer scientist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Perhaps the headline introducing the interview explains its popularity: 4 Key Areas of Cybersecurity R&D. The interview demonstrates the thirst readers have in finding out about new ways to make IT systems safer.

The most popular interview subjects, in part because both were questioned twice, were Dickie George, technical director of information assurance at the National Security Agency, and Ron Ross, the senior computer scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology who is most responsible for developing cybersecurity guidance, especially those involving the FISMA. George's interviews included Thinking Like a Hacker and Centers of Academic Excellence at 10. Ross's interviews included Defining Information Security Metrics and FISMA Reform Without Reforming FISMA.

Our most accessed interview with a government chief information security officer, not surprisingly, was the conversation with State Department's John Streufert, who is having much success employing real-time metrics to safeguard digital assets. Give Leaving FISMA in the Dust: A True Metric for IT Security a listen to or read.

Our interview subjects also include some of the most innovative thinkers on cybersecurity. One of my favorite interviews of the year - and also among our site visitors, based on hits - was the one with Jim Harper of The Cato Institute entitled Can Cyber Terrorism Exist? Though I didn't agree with everything Harper said, I found his views intriguing. Similarly, Conventional War Strategy Doesn't Work in Cyberspace with Martin Libicki, senior management scientist at the think tank RAND Corp., attracted readers.

Biometrics also proved highly popular, with interviews with Myra Gray and Lisa Swan of the Army Biometrics Taskforce - Biometrics Not End-All in ID Theft Fight and Biometrics: From Kabul to Washington - and Iris Recognition with NIST Computer Scientist Patrick Grother.

We had many other great interviews. Click here to access our list of them.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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