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9/6/2011
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Sony Hires Ex-DHS Official To Lead Security

The electronics giant has hired ex-DHS deputy undersecretary and Microsoft exec Phil Reitinger to right its security ship.

Reacting to security breaches that compromised personal information on millions of customers, Sony Corporation has hired its first chief information security officer, former Homeland Security official and Microsoft exec Philip Reitinger.

Reitinger's hiring follows numerous recent breaches of personal information on more than 100 million user accounts on the PlayStation Network, streaming video and music network Qriocity, and reportedly SonyPictures.com. At least one class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of PlayStation Network users.

As senior VP and CISO, Reitinger will be Sony's top information security exec and will report directly to Sony executive VP and general counsel Nicole Seligman, rather than to CIO Shinji Hasejima. Reitinger will be in charge of cybersecurity and privacy at the company, and will work both with corporate headquarters and the private sector to improve Sony's security posture.

Sony's image has taken a hit in the wake of the attacks, adding to other business concerns that have seen Sony shares drop 55% since late April, when the attacks were first announced.

Before joining Sony, Reitinger was most recently deputy undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security's National Protection and Programs Directorate, where he solidified the DHS' central role in the federal government's cybersecurity efforts. He was the top cyber official at the agency, responsible for managing cybersecurity across .gov networks as well as US-CERT, which worked with Sony to investigate the breaches this spring. Reitinger left that post in June, soon after the Obama administration announced a new cyber policy proposal on which he had worked.

Reitinger also worked for the Department of Defense's Cyber Crime Center and the Department of Justice and was a cybersecurity exec at Microsoft. He has an undergraduate degree in computer science, and a law degree from Yale Law School.

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