Richard Clarke to lead homeland security consulting firm

He's joining Roger Cressey, with whom he worked at the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board

WASHINGTON -- Richard A. Clarke, the former special adviser to the president for cybersecurity, has joined Arlington, Va.-based Good Harbor Consulting LLC as chairman.

Clarke joins Roger Cressey, president of the firm, who served as Clarke's chief of staff at the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board and before that as the director for Transnational Threats on the National Security Council.

Good Harbor Consulting plans to target a wide range of corporate clients, from the Fortune 500 to small technology start-ups, providing strategic consulting services in the areas of homeland security, cybersecurity, protection of critical infrastructure and counterterrorism.

John Tritak, former director of the Commerce Department's Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office and a longtime government thought leader on cybersecurity issues, has also joined the firm as its CEO, said Good Harbor.

In addition to the core team of Clarke, Cressey and Tritak, the company will rely on what Cressey calls a "network of subject matter experts" and has been negotiating a partnership for the past several weeks with another major security consulting business.

Cressey and Clarke plan to focus on four key areas: strategic planning, product and business strategy evaluation, partnership opportunities and strategic security risk assessment.

"For too many companies, Washington is a jumble of acronyms and an indecipherable procurement maze," according to the company's new mission statement. "Good Harbor uses its unique combination of experience in the halls of government and with the information technology industry to provide clients with partnership opportunities to better negotiate the U.S. government space and the critical infrastructure vertical markets."

Howard Schmidt, a former White House colleague of both Clarke and Cressey who is now chief security officer at eBay Inc., called the new venture a "natural progression" for Clarke and Cressey, given the years the two spent working together in government. When asked about his own plans, Schmidt said he also had considered going into private practice as a consultant and may still do so on a part-time basis.

Clarke announced in January that he was stepping down from his cybersecurity role in the U.S. government, ending a career at the National Security Council that had spanned three administrations (see story). His career was characterized by a concerted effort to enhance the government's relationship with the private-sector operators of critical infrastructure.

Shortly after leaving government, he testified at a congressional hearing that he didn't think the Bush administration was moving fast enough in organizing the National Cyber Security Center (see story). Clarke also called on Congress to fund vulnerability scanning sensors on all federal networks, and he recommended that federal agencies outsource cybersecurity projects and withhold money from vendors if the agencies get failing cybersecurity grades.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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