DNI nominee lists cybersecurity as priority

Dennis Blair, President Barack Obama’s nominee as the country’s top intelligence official, said today cybersecurity would be a priority during his tenure.

During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee to be director of national intelligence, Blair emphasized the role that the intelligence community -– in particular the National Security Agency –- had in protecting networks. He also stressed the need for the government officials to work with the private sector and share expertise on cybersecurity.

“It’s a crew race,” he said. “The offense pulls ahead -– you find out -– then the defense pulls ahead. We’ve got to keep stroking, faster, better, with more teamwork.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence plays a central roll in coordinating the government’s Comprehensive National Cyber Security Initiative and Mike McConnell, the outgoing director of national intelligence, recently said cybersecurity was “the soft underbelly of this country.”

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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