One might reasonably expect the White House's cybersecurity coordinator to know a thing or two about IT. But according to Michael Daniel, his lack of technical expertise actually gives him an advantage over someone with higher technical qualifications.
In a recent interview with GovInfoSecurity, Daniel said you don't have to be a coder in order to really do well in his position. He added that being too down in the weeds at the technical level could actually be a little bit of a distraction. At a very fundamental level, cybersecurity isn't just about the technology but it's also about the economics of cybersecurity, Daniel noted.
It may sound crazy but if you think about it, it kind of makes sense. It's the same reason that you or someone you know may have been turned down from a job for being overqualified - if you stress over the details, you miss the bigger overall picture.
Of course, not everyone agrees on the subject. Princeton computer scientist Ed Felten took to Twitter to voice his opinion, asking readers to imagine the reaction if the White House economic advisor lacked economic knowledge or if the attorney general didn't know squat about the legal system.
We also have to consider the fact that Daniel is at such a senior level that he likely wouldn't be the one coding or programming anyway but it's still alarming to some to hear a cybersecurity coordinator admitting he knows little about technology.