Industry council explores creating a CISO group

Industry council explores creating a CISO group

With controversy about the new Chief Information Security Officers Exchange marring its debut, an established industry group is making a push to take over the job.

Industry Advisory Council chairman Bob Woods said he was approached this week by several government officials'"some who are members of the CISO Exchange, and some who are not"'to consider forming a new Shared Industry Group on federal information security. Woods declined to name the officials involved, saying the approach was preliminary and informal.

The council is discussing the proposal, presented as salvaging the CISO Exchange's mission, Woods said.

"I got calls saying, 'This thing's so screwed up, what can we do to fix it?'" Woods said. "I was surprised at how quickly [the government officials] wanted to talk about this. I think they looked at it and said something has to be done."

The CISO Exchange, announced in February by Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), who was to co-chair it, attracted controversy when an advisory board was named April 6. The exchange set a $75,000 fee to become an industry member of the advisory board. Lower levels of participation had fees of $25,000 and $5,000.

The fees and the structure of the exchange raised concern that it appeared to be a vehicle for gaining exclusive access to Davis, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee. Davis and several others have said they are re-evaluating their participation.

Woods said he did not know if Davis approves of involving IAC. "I have no idea," Woods said. "It's not a formal request. There are people saying this is a good idea, but the venue needs to be different."

To avoid competing with an existing group, Woods said he hopes to obtain a formal request from the government officials who approached him, or from the CISO Exchange, before IAC takes action.

"We would be willing to help, but we will not insert ourselves into someone else's efforts," Woods said.

He added that he had no involvement with the planning or creation of the CISO Exchange. "I think the problem was that it was too greedy. If it had been 25 grand, nobody would have paid attention," he said.

About the Authors

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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