Academia makes cyber pledge

Higher education organizations have joined the fight to secure cyberspace by endorsing a framework for action.

"Colleges and universities have always played a major role in defending our country and keeping our economy healthy," said Richard Clarke, President Bush's cyberspace security adviser.

The framework that the organizations endorsed will serve as a basis for coordinating cybersecurity activities at the campus and national levels. It calls for:

* Making information technology security a bigger and more visible priority in higher education.

* Doing a better job with existing security tools.

* Developing improved security for future research and education networks.

* Raising the level of security collaboration among higher education, industry and government.

* Integrating higher education research on security into the national effort to strengthen critical infrastructure.

Clarke also asked colleges and universities to develop their own strategies to defend "their bit of cyberspace" as the Bush administration works out a national plan. The framework provides a foundation for those strategies.

The framework "is a good first step in that direction," he said at the Networking 2002 event April 18 in Washington, D.C. Higher education organizations also can contribute research, training and education, he added.

"My only concern would be that once those [strategies] are submitted, there needs to be discussion and integration" on state, local and university levels, said Marilu Goodyear, vice chancellor for information services and chief information officer at the University of Kansas.

RELATEDLINKS

"Cybersecurity center takes shape" [Federal Computer Week, Feb. 18, 2002]

"Security board makes progress" [FCW.com, Feb. 15, 2002]

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