Napolitano calls for cybersecurity partnership

Importance goes beyond the Internet, DHS head says

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today stressed the need for shared responsibility and strategic partnerships to secure cyberspace.

“This has got to be a team effort,” Napolitano said at a cybersecurity symposium held in Washington. “No one agency can do it alone. Cybersecurity is about effective partnerships and shared security.”

She said a layered approach to security and partnerships is the key to cybersecurity, rather than a top-down or government-down approach. She added that cybersecurity has ramifications that go beyond the Internet.

“The Obama administration is committed to working closely with our partners across government and in the private sector to achieve a cyberspace that is safe and resilient and that remains a source of opportunity and growth,” Napolitano said.

The Homeland Security and Defense departments are working together to combat cyberattacks, she said, and pointed to an agreement she signed with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in October to align their capabilities to protect military and civilian networks.

“For the first time ever, there are individuals stationed at [the National Security Agency] for particular protections in a civilian context and to tap into those incredible capabilities,” Napolitano said.

“We need colleges and universities to make cybersecurity a multidisciplinary pursuit,” she added.

Napolitano also called on the government to continue working to secure federal civilian networks and help the private sector secure the cyber infrastructure.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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