Newly appointed White House Cyber Security Coordinator Howard A. Schmidt may not have enough authority to ensure the security of the country's network management systems, according to a column published Friday.

The coordinator reports to national security advisor Jim Jones and White House economic advisor Larry Summers, and has no real power to reject projects that do not meet security standards, technology analyst Evan Schuman wrote for CBS. Despite this relative lack of power, however, he receives the blame whenever there is a security breach.

"The role itself is a spreadsheet of contradictions," Schuman wrote.

The weakness of the position parallels the ineffectiveness of many chief information officers in the private sector, Schuman argued. Many corporate CIOs are powerless to stop sales or operations executives from undertaking projects that may lead to breaches in network management systems.

Cyber security has risen near the top of the government's agenda in recent years as government agencies and private companies have come under attack from a growing number of state, terrorist and criminal actors. Increasing attacks from foreign entities on critical infrastructure may suggest that a "cyber cold war" is on the horizon, a Center for Strategic and International Studies report found on Thursday.ADNFCR-2553-ID-19588447-ADNFCR