IT council praises DHS

The newly established Information Technology Sector Coordinating Council (IT SCC) is praising the Homeland Security Department’s National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) for its “pragmatic and progressive approach to the relationship between industry and the government and their mutual goals of critical infrastructure protection,” according to a statement issued July 19.

The IT SCC, an industry group founded in January, also lauded DHS’ current focus on physical security issues, “enhancing programmatic attention to the role of cybersecurity as a foundational pillar for overall critical infrastructure security,” according to the statement.

“One of the fundamental issues many in industry had noted in earlier drafts of the NIPP was the need for a well-articulated business case for industry to engage with the government more fully in the process of infrastructure protection,” said IT SCC Chairman Guy Copeland, vice president and special assistant to the chief executive officer of Computer Sciences Corp., in the statement.

He said protection of the infrastructure, particularly computer and communications networks, requires further action and a coordinated approach between government and industry stakeholders.

“The NIPP addresses this critical issue head-on and suggests positive steps such as the development of market incentives, to be identified and developed in the Sector-Specific Plans (SSP) that government and industry can leverage to ensure better collaboration in their mutual self-interest,” he said. “We welcome this positive development.”

VeriSign’s Michael Aisenberg, vice chairman of the IT SCC, said DHS has taken steps to deal with industry in a more cooperative way.

He said the next major project is to build on the framework NIPP provided and develop IT SSP for infrastructure protection. “When the SSP drafting process is completed by the end of the year, it will then be incumbent on all stakeholders, both in government and industry, to implement it according to our respective commitments,” Aisenberg said.

The IT SCC was established Jan. 27 to bring together on a regular basis companies, associations and other key IT participants to coordinate strategic activities and to exchange views on infrastructure protection, response and recovery.

The IT Association of America, a trade association of more than 300 companies, is a member of the IT SCC Executive Committee.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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