As the Senate and House have begun to mark up legislation dealing with critical infrastructure protection, the White House has been largely silent on cyber security. Much of what Schmidt does on a daily basis is not the type of thing that one can make public; he de-conflicts disputes, manages responses to critical incidents, and engages with industry leaders. He's now a fairly regular presence at trade fairs, but there are moments when it helps to have the full faith and credit of the United States thrown behind one idea-- as happened when President Obama stopped by the meeting today, for 15 minutes. Message: cyber is still important.
For example: companies want to secure their stuff, oh yes, but they're worried about financial risk. So they discussed a pilot program that would provide a sort of insurance to help companies deal with the unanticipated consequences of being violated, cyber-wise, as well as by having that violation be made public. Companies that have a good, verified security system in place wouldn't risk losing as much money.