Sony announced this morning that it had hired Phil Reitinger, former deputy under secretary for infrastructure protection at the Homeland Security Department, as senior vice president and chief information security officer.
The hire comes after Sony suffered several months of bad press and bad luck after being hit by hackers, who stole personally identifiable information and attempted to steal credit card information. The group Anonymous allegedly was behind some of the attacks, which were among many that targeted the video game industry.
Reitinger is a smart hire for Sony. As a former deputy chief of the computer crime and intellectual property section at the Department of Justice, he can help the company continue its recovery from the attacks and pursue those who have committed criminal acts against the company (both here and abroad). As an individual who has worked on cybersecurity issues within the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, he has been privy to the trends on the cyber front that face both the private sector and government. And as a former Microsoft official, he knows the unique challenges facing cutting-edge technology companies.
His hire won't stop future hackers from attacking Sony, but hopefully it will help the company protect itself in a robust way. More importantly, if it is compromised, it now has someone with the knowledge to help the company respond in an effective manner.