Cybersecurity panel to build Web forum

Critical Infrastructure Protection Board executive order

The Bush administration's new Critical Infrastructure Protection Board is already considering several ways in which industry can be involved in the federal cybersecurity effort, including a new Web site to promote new ideas and solutions, an official said Wednesday.

The new board, established in October by executive order, oversees the cyber and physical protection of information systems that support the nation's critical infrastructure, such as telecommunications and electric power.

One of the standing committees, led by the Office of Science and Technology Policy and focused entirely on research and development, will coordinate the many cybersecurity research programs under way across government. In this arena, the government will be working closely with industry and academia to "come up with good solutions," said Paul Kurtz, director of critical infrastructure protection at the National Security Council.

But innovative solutions developed outside the federal R&D community will be welcome. In fact, the board hopes to establish a Web site within the next month where agencies can learn about the latest cybersecurity developments, Kurtz said in a Web chat.

"One of the purposes of the critical infrastructure board is to offer a conduit through which the ideas, products and resources available in the private sector can be passed to the whole range of government agencies," he said.

Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Science Committee, hosted the Web chat to bring together government and industry security experts in an open forum. The committee will keep cybersecurity as a priority on its agenda, he said in the chat.

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