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Prof. Howard A. Schmidt Appointed First President of the Information Security Forum


Leading industry figure to head up international authority on information security and raise greater awareness of growing information security issues and threats

12 August 2008: Professor Howard A. Schmidt, the internationally-renowned expert and authority on information security, has been appointed as the first President of the Information Security Forum (ISF). The ISF is an independent, not-for-profit association of some 300 of the world’s largest corporations and public sector bodies that harness their knowledge and experiences to resolve information security and risk management issues. Over US$100 million has already been invested in business-driven research and the development of best-practice methodologies, processes and tools.

The appointment of Mr. Schmidt as its first President reflects the ISF’s vital role and influence in addressing the growing scale and diversity of information security threats facing organizations around the world.

Mr. Schmidt has already had a long and distinguished career in defense, law enforcement and corporate security that spans almost 40 years. Being able to draw on this depth of experience across senior business, government, academic and information security management roles, puts him in the ideal position to head up the ISF, which is widely recognized as the leading authority on information security and risk management.

As well as serving as the CISO and chief security strategist at eBay and as chief security officer for Microsoft Corp, Mr. Schmidt has also spent 31 years in US local and federal government. He was appointed as vice chair of the US Government’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board and as special advisor for cyberspace security to the White House. Most recently he was chief strategist for the US CERT Partners Program of the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr. Schmidt has also had a major influence on the international stage. His roles include membership on the Permanent Stakeholders Group (PSG) for the European Network Information Security Agency (ENISA), and as an International Advisory Board member to the International Multilateral Partnership against Cyber Terrorism (IMPACT) led by the Prime Minister of Malaysia. He is also a member of the High Level Experts Group for the ITU’s Global Cyber Security Agenda. Mr. Schmidt is a member of the board and security strategist for (ISC)2, the global gold standard for information security certifications and immediately prior to joining the ISF was President and CEO of R & H Security Consulting LLC.

“With over 40 years experience in information security and having worked closely with the Information Security Forum, it is clear that its role is more important than ever,” said Mr. Schmidt. “Information security is no longer just a technical challenge, it is a business imperative and is, or should be, on the top of boardroom agendas in every corporation. The ISF is a unique organization that provides a confidential peer-to-peer forum for members across different countries, sectors and disciplines; and is able to draw on their diverse skills and expertise to distill best practice and deliver an unmatched portfolio of research, methodologies and tools.”

Mr. Schmidt adds: “It is a distinct privilege to be the first President of the ISF and I look forward to working with the dedicated professionals that have brought the ISF to the position it is today. I will strive to help raise greater awareness of the information security challenges faced today – from the increase in cybercrime to the growing burden of compliance. Companies need to adopt a risk management perspective and recognize that information security is business driven and not crisis driven.”

“We are delighted that Mr. Schmidt has accepted this important position at the ISF,” said Kim Aarenstrup, Chairman of the ISF and Group Head of Information Security at the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group. “The value of the ISF has always been born out of the people in the organization – its members, our expert consultants and the management team. It is clear that Mr. Schmidt’s unparalleled experience and knowledge will make a major contribution to the future of the ISF and its members. He will also be driving our ambitious plans to expand the scale and reach of the ISF, building on our existing Membership from Europe and Scandinavia through the Americas to the Middle East, India, Africa, Australia and the Pacific Rim.”

The ISF is a not-for-profit association of some 300 leading international organizations, which fund and co-operate in the development of practical, business-driven solutions to information security and risk management problems. The ISF undertakes a leading-edge research program and has invested more than US$100 million to create a library of over 200 authoritative reports along with information risk methodologies and tools that are available free of charge to ISF Members. The latest ISF Standard of Good Practice for Information Security is available free to non-members at

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