Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!


Obama appoints McAfee CTO as DHS undersecretary of cybercrime

Some hope Schneck’s appointment will draw the private and public sectors closer together on cybercrime

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to crack down on cybercrime and hackers, and this time, President Obama has his eye on the private sector for help.

The DHS has named Phyllis Schneck as the department’s new undersecretary of cybersecurity. Schneck previously worked as chief technology officer and vice-president at McAfee Inc., an American security software company. The man she replaces, Mark Weatherford, said in May that the undersecretary role is one of the top cybersecurity jobs in the federal government behind the head of the NSA.

Schneck plays a crucial role in carrying out a recent Obama executive order on cybersecurity. According to The Hill, the DHS is now responsible for running a security program aimed at unifying security practices for critical infrastructure companies, such as the power grid, water systems and financial networks.

Some believe the appointment of a private sector worker to this important public position will help bring the government more in line with private sector concerns. Michael DeCesare, president of McAfee, said in a statement that the company takes “great pride” in its partnership with the federal government. He also praised Schneck’s work building that connection, saying, “Phyllis has long been a trusted and valued member of the McAfee team who has helped build these partnerships. We congratulate her on her appointment to the Department of Homeland Security, and we know she will do an outstanding job.”

However, others are not as enthused. David Inserra of conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation writes that while the move is a step in the right direction, Schneck will only have as much power as the Obama Administration gives her. “Phyllis Schneck’s appointment is an opportunity for the Administration to change direction and truly embrace the private sector’s role in cybersecurity,” Inserra writes.


For more InsideCounsel stories on cybersecurity, check out these pieces:

FTC defends decision to sue Wyndham after data breach

A primer on the keys to a complete cybersecurity incident response plan

China takes steps to increase privacy of citizens' personal data

A cybersecurity primer for legal departments

Assistant Editor

author image

Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.