By Ben Bain

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More details emerge on Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative

The White House provided a glimpse on March 2 into the Bush administration's secretive, wide-ranging, multi-year, classified government program to bolster computer security. The Obama administration released a summary of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative detailing the 12 initiatives of that program, which began during the George W. Bush administration in January 2008.

Some of the information in the summary had already been reported. However, the document does provide additional detail about Einstein 3, the next-generation tool that the government is developing to protect the civilian government domain. According to the summary, the CNCI includes programs to:

  1. Manage the federal enterprise network as a single network enterprise with trusted Internet connections.

  1. Deploy an intrusion detection system of sensors across the federal enterprise. The document details the Homeland Security Department’s deployment of Einstein 2 to inspect Internet traffic entering federal systems for malicious content.

  1. Pursue the deployment of intrusion prevention systems across the federal enterprise. The document provides details about Einstein 3, which would do real-time full-packet inspection. Einstein 3 would give DHS the capability to send alerts that don’t contain the content of communications to the National Security Agency in order to bolster protection of the civilian government domain. DHS is currently conducting a pilot of Einstein 3’s capabilities based on technology developed by the National Security Agency.

  1. Develop strategies and structures for coordinating all cyber research and development that’s sponsored or conducted by the government. The initiative would also eliminate redundancies and identify research gaps.

  1. Connect cyber operations centers across the government to improve situational awareness.

  1. Put in place a governmentwide cyber counterintelligence plan to detect, deter and mitigate foreign-sponsored cyber intelligence threats to government and private-sector information systems.

  1. Bolster the security of classified networks.

  1. Expand cyber education to develop a technology-skilled and cyber-savvy workforce.

  1. Define and develop so-called leap-ahead technology, strategy and programs that can be put in place in five to 10 years.

  1. Develop enduring deterrence strategies and programs, articulating roles for private-sector and international partners, and develop appropriate responses for both state and non-state actors.

  1. Bolster the security of the supply chain by helping agencies better manage and mitigate supply chain risk.

  1. Define the federal role for cybersecurity in protecting critical infrastructure that’s mostly owned by the private sector.

Posted by Ben Bain on Mar 05, 2010 at 12:12 PM

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