Who should be Britain’s cyber security czar?

Experts reveal what a UK head of cyber security would need to do, while we put forward possible candidates for the role.

Who could be cyber security czar?

Here are some possible candidates who could (in theory at least) head up the UK's cyber security efforts.

Bruce Schneier chief security technology officer, BT

Internationally renowned security technologist' as well as author, Schneier joined BT after it had bought security monitoring firm Counterpane.

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The Economist has described him as a "security guru", according to his personal website.

Last year Schneier had some interesting thoughts on the problem of having too much data around, with governments and businesses having a responsibility to clean it up. However, he said that it might take five to 10 years for society to deal with the problem, and in the meantime lots of abuse will continue to occur.

John Suffolk government's chief information officer (CIO)

Suffolk has been government CIO since 2006, and prior to that he was the director of criminal justice IT. According to the Cabinet Office website, he an IT background spanning more than 25 years gained from roles working in engineering and financial industries as well as experience in delivering IT-enabled change.

Trend Micro's Ferguson said of Suffolk: "He has a wealth of experience both in government and the commercial world, but most importantly he very definitely inhabits the real world and knows the difference between hype and threat, reality and improbable."

He added: "He has the respect of his peers and is not above recognising where simple stuff needs fixing first."

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Edward Gibson - Microsoft's UK chief security advisor

As well as working for a company that has its fair share of security threats to deal with, Gibson has worked at the US embassy in London and been in charge of the FBI's hi-tech cyber terrorism work in the UK.

He was also responsible for establishing the original national hi-tech crime unit, in addition to establishing alliances between the FBI, UK police agencies, security services and private sector companies.

In an interview with IT PRO he stated that the recently formed Police Central e-Crime unit, partly funded by the Home Office, was a giant step forward.

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Howard Schmidt - president of the Information Security Forum (ISF)

Schmidt was appointed the first president of the ISF last year, and has a career in defence, law enforcement and corporate security that spans almost 40 years.

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He has worked as CISO and chief security strategist at eBay, chief security officer for Microsoft, and spent some 31 years in US local and federal government with a stint as special advisor for cybersecurity in the White House.

According to the ISF, he can draw on experiences across business, government, academic and information security management roles.

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