Intel Hires Apple Vet As Company's First Chief Software Security Officer


Intel is continuing to expand its security leadership roster in the aftermath of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities disclosure with the recent hire of an Apple veteran.

Window Snyder, who worked for five years on security and privacy strategy for iOS and Mac OS X at Apple, has been hired as Intel's first chief software security officer, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced on Monday. She will begin on July 9 in the company's Software and Services Group as vice president and general manager of the Intel Platform Security Division.

The Intel Platform Security Division is separate from the Intel Product Assurance and Security Group, which was established in January shortly after the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities in Intel processors were disclosed. The Product Assurance and Security Group was established with longtime Intel executive Leslie Culbertson as its leader, who has said that the team is "designed as a center of security excellence — a sort of mission control — that looks across all of Intel."

Snyder's appointment comes only days after Intel ousted its former CEO, Brian Krzanich, following the disclosure of a relationship he had with an employee. Robert Swan, Intel's chief financial officer, is now serving as the company's interim CEO while the company begins to search for a permanent successor.

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In Snyder's role as chief software security officer, she will be "responsible for ensuring the company maintains a competitive security product roadmap across all segments in support of business group objectives and continues to engage with the external security ecosystem to apply industry trends and sensing to Intel roadmap differentiation," wrote Doug Fisher, Intel's top Software and Services Group executive, in a Monday blog post.

Fisher said Snyder's work will involve forging partnerships with operating system and security partners for guidance "on the growing complexity of attacks" and gathering insights and feedback from partners and community members to develop "differentiated security capabilities." She will also work with the security and developer ecosystems "to drive scale for security," he added.

Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing of Fremont, Calif.-based distributor ASI Corp., an Intel partner, told CRN that the hiring of new security executive is a good move for Intel.

"Anything they can do to improve security is a priority that is on a lot of peoples' minds," he said.

Tibbils said resellers that work with ASI seem comfortable with the actions taken by Intel to improve its security apparatus in the aftermath of Spectre and Meltdown.

"This hire is another indication of how high a priority it is," he said.

Snyder was most recently chief security officer at Fastly, a San Francisco-based content delivery provider that is used by large brands like Ticketmaster and The New York Times. Beyond having worked on security and privacy features at Apple, she has also served as "Chief Security Something-or-Other" at Firefox maker Mozilla and as a senior security strategist at Microsoft.

Beyond expanding its security leadership roster, Intel is working on new hardware-level protections for its processors, as well as new security capabilities, including ones that specifically address security and privacy issues for artificial intelligence and blockchain workloads. The company's efforts are part of the "Security First Pledge" made by former CEO Krzanich in January.