We are influencing software industry, says Homeland Security CIO

Steven Cooper, the chief information officer at the US Department of Homeland Security, said he has met with company officials...

Steven Cooper, the chief information officer at the US Department of Homeland Security, said he has met with company officials including Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer about software security concerns.

"And I think, believe it or not, that we're really influencing them as a community," Cooper told attendees at a CIO Symposium in Ohio. 

Cooper added that his agency were collaborating with companies very closely with working to improve software. 

Cooper met with nearly 75 government chief information officers, most of whom said their departments now have internal cybersecurity plans that include some kind of vulnerability and risk assessment, use third parties for penetration testing and have put in place some type of patch management process. 

Acknowledging that the first version of his department's national enterprise architecture, released in late September and available online or by CD, still needs work, he asked chief information officers from various industries and from state and local governments to help improve it.

Cooper also pointed to an initiative in which the government has appropriated $12m for chief information officer to develop a dozen or so information-sharing pilot projects, each costing less than $1m, citing the initative as an example of how IT can enable rapid and effective information sharing between the private, local, state and federal sector.

Joe Gottron, chief information officer at Huntington Bancshares, said it is important to know how the department will measure progress toward its goals.

"Calculating progress will help in getting people engaged and be part of that process. The task is so enormous," Gottron said.

Lucas Mearian writes for Computerworld

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