Microsoft exec hired to secure America’s computers

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Microsoft exec hired to secure America’s computers

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has hired a Microsoft executive to ensure that the government’s computing infrastructure is secure.

Philip Reitinger, formerly Microsoft’s chief trustworthy infrastructure strategist, has been appointed as the new deputy undersecretary of the Department’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD).

“Phil’s background in cybersecurity and computer crime coupled with his experience working across the federal government and the private sector to develop innovative security strategies makes him an asset to our department,” said DHS secretary Janet Napolitano.

Reitinger’s job is to investigate the computer networks in public and private hands that make up the country’s key network infrastructure.

The bulk of these run some form of Microsoft software.

However, he will face a difficult task if the comments made by Rod Beckström, director of Homeland Security's National Cybersecurity Center, last week in his resignation letter.

Beckström said that in the last year his department received only five weeks of funding and was engaged in a turf fight with the National Security Agency (NSA) over securing the nation’s computers systems.

Reitinger already has extensive government experience. He is currently on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Advisory Council.

Prior to that he has served as the executive director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) Cyber Crime Center and as deputy chief of the computer crime and intellectual property division at the U.S. Department of Justice.

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