Melissa Hathaway joins a distinguished group of highly respected and accomplished people who have quit the position of Cybersecurity Czar. She wasn\u2019t even the actual Cybersecurity Czar, she was just the acting one, but it appears even that was too much to take for her. She cited personal reasons for resigning, but media reports suggest a more plausible reason for resigning \u2013 frustration at \u201cspinning her wheels\u201d and not being able to accomplish anything. Sounds familiar, doesn\u2019t it? Whether you are a Cybersecurity Czar or a CISO, the challenges for this position are very similar.\u00a0 CISO role is a thankless one \u2013 with a lot of responsibility and no authority. \u00a0This job has already been rumored to be rejected by as many as 30 potential candidates. Forbes notes that among those who have said "no" to the position are former Virginia Sen. Tom Davis, Microsoft security executive Scott Charney, and Good Harbor Consulting Executive Paul Kurtz. The reason many are tempted to consider this position is that it looks great on paper. The role is accountable for protecting the nation\u2019s cyber infrastructure had dual reporting relationship to NSC and National Economic Council (NEC) but as many candidates found out, it actually has very little authority to do anything substantial. CEO (and the President) diligently pays lip service to security. Many security professionals \u00a0were excited to hear the USPresident laying out the high level objectives of his administration in the area of cybersecurity and claiming cybersecurity as a national security priority during his speech on May 29th. Even after Hathaway\u2019s resignation the rhetoric from the White House is impressive. The Wall Street Journal article reports: Cybersecurity is "a major priority for the president," White House spokesman Nicholas Shapiro said, adding that the administration is "pursuing a new comprehensive approach to securing America's digital infrastructure." In the search to fill the top cyber post, "the president is personally committed to finding the right person for this job, and a rigorous selection process is well under way," he said. Without political clout, you are bound to fail. As Ms. Hathaway found out \u2013 access to the President was not as easy as she was made to believe, and getting out of favor with some of his advisers (President\u2019s economic team) meant that she was not able get the support she needed to progress her agenda. Also, similar to many corporate environments, not everybody wants you to succeed. This\u00a0 role could potentially encroach on other turfs, or at least make them do additional work \u2013 so it was not in their best interest to see this role succeed. Without getting buy-in from these stakeholders \u2013 you are guaranteed to fail. Other business priorities take precedence. It was widely expected that President Obama would name the new Security Chief during his speech on May 29th, but to our disappointment he did not. It has been two months and there is no appointment in sight. Obviously other priorities such as our nation\u2019s financial crisis and healthcare take precedence over this issue \u2013 and security comes way down in the list of priorities. Companies will not take security seriously unless they get hit. This is an unfortunate but true. Many companies (and in this case the government) does not recognize the gravity of the situation unless they are affected by it first hand. The recent attacks on the electric grid system and sensitive government information assets should serve as a warning sign to the administration. Many organizations have found an attentive management and a lot more willingness to spend money on security only after an unfortunate disaster. Let's hope the Obama administration moves from rhetoric to action before something drastic happens. Forrester is pleased to offer CSO readers a $405 discount off the standard conference rate for Forrester\u2019s Security Forum 2009*. To register, call Forrester Events at +1 888.343.6786 and reference VIP Code SF9CSM.\u00a0*Discount applies to new registrations at the standard, non-client rate. Cannot be combined with other offers.