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McAfee's Phyllis Schneck reportedly heading to DHS

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Phyllis Schneck, McAfee's chief technology officer and vice president of the security software company's global sector, will be named undersecretary of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, say sources familiar with DHS cybersecurity operations.

Although DHS and McAfee wouldn't confirm the move, industry sources have said Schneck will be named undersecretary after Acting Undersecretary Bruce McConnell departs. McConnell said in July that he planned to leave in August to return to the private sector.

With her deep background in high-performance computing and cryptography, Schneck emerged as strong candidate for the job in July, as the department searched for a permanent replacement after McConnell's departure. She serves as chairman of the board of directors of the National Cyberforensics and Training Alliance, a partnership among government, law enforcement and the private sector that provides information analytics that have been used to prosecute cyber criminals worldwide.

At McAfee, Schneck is responsible for public sector security and global threat intelligence applications, strategic thought leadership around technology and policy in cybersecurity, and initiatives in adaptive security and intelligence in networks for critical infrastructure protection and cross-sector cyber security.

McConnell became acting undersecretary in April after Mark Weatherford left DHS for the Chertoff Group consultancy after about a year-and-a-half on the job. McConnell had been DHS's senior counselor for cybersecurity before taking on the role of acting undersecretary.

Schneck will take over at a challenging time for DHS cybersecurity, which is in the midst of two major tasks: Carrying out the president's cybersecurity executive order and expanding its internal cybersecurity efforts.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Aug 06, 2013 at 12:58 PM


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