Cyber Czar – A Name to Fail By

Most, hopefully all, of you have heard an announcement that President Obama is to name a person to be the “Cyber Czar”.

One of the absolute fundamentals of customer service is setting expectations. The title “Cyber Czar” sets unrealistic expectations and no matter how good a job the appointee does, it will not match the expectations of the title.

The Czars were rulers, the “Cyber Czar” will not share that kind of power and authority. The Czars were rulers of a specific country or empire, the “Cyber Czar” does not control the global internet.

If we hold the person who accepts the position to the expectation of the title we will all be disappointed. We will likely call meaningful advances in security a failure because dismally unrealistic expectations were implied by a poorly chosen marketing title with nothing more than media sales value to recommend it as being valid.

A more realistic title would be US Cyber Security Coordinator. The person who Obama selects will not have authority over Romanians, Chinese, Russians, Canadians, or anyone else, however they will have great power to influence policy within the US and potentially influence foreign policy with respect to security on the Internet. Influence is a long stretch from command and enforce though.

While I can speculate on some of the actions this coordinator will take, we will have to wait and see who is appointed and what priorities they see as most important to know what the angle of attack for will be. I would expect a person with the intellect and background to hold the position to place a strong emphasis on education. Let’s see what happens!

Randy Abrams
Director of Technical Education

Author , ESET

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