Management

NIST head defends work with NSA

Patrick Gallagher

NSA will continue to be involved in cybersecurity standards because of its 'deep reservoir of knowhow,' says NIST Director Patrick Gallagher. (NIST photo)

The director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology defended his agency on Sept. 25 against the severe criticism it has received in recent weeks following revelations that the National Security Agency worked to weaken encryption standards NIST adopted in 2006

"There is not a problem with NIST collaborating with NSA," NIST Director Patrick Gallagher said at a cybersecurity summit at the National Press Club in Washington.

According to The Hill, Gallagher said NIST will continue to work with the NSA because the spy agency has a "deep reservoir of knowhow in cybersecurity activities," adding that the NSA plays a similar role to NIST in protecting federal computer networks.

Gallagher said NIST is "redoubling" its efforts to be transparent in an effort to rebuild trust within the private sector, for which it assists in setting guidelines, policy and standards in the private and public sectors.

That trust was damaged in early September when top-secret documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed the NSA "became the sole editor" of weakened cryptographic standards that NIST later approved for use.

In response, NIST reopened the questioned encryption standards for public comment and authored a technical bulletin recommending against use of the standards.

"NIST is fully committed to the highest levels of scientific and technical quality and integrity," Gallagher said. "This is in our bone marrow at NIST. If we are to contribute to this dialogue of securing and providing trust to the Internet, everyone has to be confident that our technical work stands on its own merits."

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group