GAO: DHS public/private cyber plan incomplete

Internet Infrastructure: DHS Faces Challenges in Developing a Joint Public/Private Recovery Plan

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The Homeland Security Department is not ready for a cyberattack or a natural disaster that causes a major Internet disruption, according to a Government Accountability Report released today.

DHS has begun several initiatives to fulfill its responsibility in developing a plan that bridges the public and private sectors, but none of the efforts are complete or comprehensive, GAO found.

The department has also created initiatives to train government and industry to recover from Internet disruptions, but it has made only limited progress on them, GAO reported. The relationships between various initiatives are not clear.

One challenge DHS faces is a lack of consensus on what its role should be and when it should get involved in responding to a disruption, according to GAO. Legal issues and the general reluctance of the private sector to share information with the department are also hampering its efforts, GAO found.

GAO's recommendations include one to Congress: Clarify the legal framework guiding Internet recovery. The oversight body also recommended to DHS that it complete the plans it has begun.

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