DHS creates cybersecurity division

National Cyber Security Division

The Bush administration last week created a new organization to improve security across the federal government and work with industry to secure the nation's major networks.

The National Cyber Security division, part of the Infrastructure Protection Office at the Homeland Security Department, will be dedicated to following through on the priorities laid out in the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace released by the White House in February.

The division will not only develop cybersecurity plans, but also ensure they are carried out, officials said last week.

Among other things, the national strategy includes creating a national security response system, which would expand the government's Cyber Warning and Information Network to the private sector, and creating a national security threat and vulnerability reduction program, which would involve DHS working with the private sector to assess threats to critical infrastructure.

"[The division] is intended to be the implementation arm of that strategy," Robert Liscouski, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection, who will oversee the division, said in a press briefing. "Great thought without action is just that — thought."

Among the division's top priorities is the creation of a consolidated Cyber Security Tracking, Analysis and Response Center. The center will bring together work brought over from the Federal Computer Incident Response Center (FedCIRC), the National Infrastructure Protection Center and other organizations now part of DHS.

The division will also support the information security improvement efforts by Mark Forman, administrator of OMB's Office of E-Government and Information Technology, as part of the strategy's effort to make the federal government a model for information security, Liscouski said.

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