Industry hesitant about detection system

A top official of a group charged with investigating electronic threats posed to the U.S. critical infrastructure said last week that efforts to gather critical asset information are running into objections from private companies. Douglas Perritt, deputy chief of the National Infrastructure Protect

A top official of a group charged with investigating electronic threats posed to the U.S. critical infrastructure said last week that efforts to gather critical asset information are running into objections from private companies.

Douglas Perritt, deputy chief of the National Infrastructure Protection Center, told the National Institute of Standards and Technology's security and privacy panel that private-sector cooperation is key to assembling information about the computer systems that operate and support U.S. critical infrastructures, such as the banking, transportation, telecommunications, electric, oil and gas industries. But convincing the private corporations to collaborate has been difficult, he said.

The effort is "being worked in coordination with a similar DOD program that focuses on assets critical to DOD's mission," Perritt said. Guidelines currently are under development for the kinds of data needed.

The Justice Department established NIPC last year to develop a system that would detect and track cyberattacks against federal and private computer systems that are integral to U.S. critical infrastructures. As envisioned, the system would detect an intrusion to a computer system and then identify the attacker by tracking the attack back to its source.

The FBI is in charge of developing the system together with the departments of Defense, Transportation and Energy. NIPC officials also plan to coordinate emergency responses, provide training and outreach, and develop technical tools.

The private sector has questioned whether NIPC can put controls in place to prevent the potential abuse of corporate proprietary information. Corporate executives want to know, "Where are my safeguards?" Perritt said.

Partnership is the "only way to address the issue of protecting" the infrastructure, Perritt said. "We understand that there are impediments to information sharing...that stem from cultural barriers...and legal [and] privacy concerns - real and/or perceived - that inhibit trust."

To persuade private companies to share their data on computer systems, NIPC is considering creating so-called Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs), which Perritt described as "middlemen between government and the private sector." The National Coordinating Center for Telecommunications, part of the National Communications System, which is a federal security group affiliated with DOD, could serve as the group to build an ISAC for telecommunications companies.

The complexity of building the system also will be daunting, said Sam Varnado, the director of energy and critical infrastructure technology at Sandia National Laboratories, which will assign a person to support the NIPC effort.

"The FBI has got an enormous job," he said. Indications and warnings relating to intrusions and other sources of network system failures are "such a complex, new idea that they have to design an information system that meets the needs of the FBI. You can't use a cookbook approach."

Perritt also outlined for the NIST security and privacy panel NIPC's progress in building the intrusion-detection system. He said NIPC and the General Services Administration are designing the preliminary architecture for the Federal Intrusion-Detection Network (Fednet), described as a central burglar alarm system.

Fednet is in the early stages of development, said Tom Burke, chief infrastructure assurance officer with GSA. "A lot of legal and privacy issues remain to be worked," he said.

Perritt said the Key Asset program, for which NIPC is managing the collection of data, is a separate database that will store information about critical parts of the computer systems such as telecom switches, railroad junctions and power plants. The database also will provide the characteristics, connectivities and interdependencies of the parts, and information on the companies that own the parts, names of contacts and potential effects on other infrastructure components if parts fail. The database, which is being compiled by NIPC field offices, will be maintained at NIPC, Perritt said.

Perritt also said NIPC is considering forming the InfraGard Project, which would serve as a forum to encourage people in local organizations to talk about the detection system.

-- Adams is a free-lance writer based in Alexandria, Va.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.