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Howard Schmidt, the United States’ first Cybersecurity Czar, has died

Synopsys Editorial Team

Mar 01, 2017 / 2 min read

Howard A. Schmidt, a friend to many in the security community, has died. A statement on his Facebook page says that he died today "in the presence of his wife and four sons ... following a long battle with cancer."

Schmidt served as the White House Cybersecurity Advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and later became the first Cybersecurity Coordinator and Special Assistant to the President of the United States during the Obama Administration. He served in that position until May of 2012 when Michael Daniel, former chief of the White House budget office's intelligence branch, took over the position. Schmidt went on to serve as chairman of the board of Codenomicon, now a part of Synopsys.

Last month, Schmidt, who held both CISSP and CISM certifications, was honored with the 2016 (ISC)² Harold F. Tipton Lifetime Achievement Award.

Distinguished career

Schmidt's career spans 40 years and covers defense, law enforcement, and corporate security. Prior to serving in the White House, Schmidt was co-founder of Trident Capital and the President and CEO of the Information Security Forum (ISF). In the late 1990s he worked at Microsoft, serving as the director of information security, chief information security officer (CISO), and chief security officer (CSO). While at Microsoft he co-founded the Trustworthy Computing Security Strategies Group.

Schmidt has held many positions including Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer and Chief Security Strategist for eBay Inc., and Chief Security Strategist for the US CERT Partners Program for the National Cyber Security Division, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He was a supervisory special agent and director of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Computer Forensics Lab and Computer Crime and Information Warfare Division. And before that he was with the FBI. He is one of the pioneers in the law enforcement field of computer forensics and computer evidence collection. His wife, Raemarie, who survives him, is a distinguished forensic scientist.

Author and speaker

Schmidt is the author of the 2006 book, Patrolling Cyberspace, Lessons Learned from a Lifetime in Data Security. In the book he talks about case studies from the early days of computer forensics through today's modern use in law enforcement.

In this 2012 interview, Schmidt talks about the current state of software security development.

In 2012, Schmidt was also a featured guest on Gary McGraw's Silver Bullet Security Podcast.

And in 2013, Schmidt gave the keynote address at CodenomiCON.

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