Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

Blog archive

Cooperative mindset needed to protect infrastructure

A number of cybersecurity experts have warned about the likelihood of a cyberattack crippling the national power grid, resulting in economic chaos. This is just one aspect of our nation’s critical infrastructure risks. You hear a lot about the need for private sector working with the government and military to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure, but little information has emerged about how this will be done.

Our critical infrastructure has been defined as those physical and cyber-based systems that are essential to the minimum operations of the economy and government. This is the primary area where the government and private sector must work together to address this threat. Federal policy calls for a partnership model that includes public and private sector coordination and information sharing as well as incident and threat analysis in an effort to gather and disseminate information on threats to physical and cyber infrastructure.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano continues to raise awareness of the importance of working together to protect our nation's critical infrastructure. The willingness of governments and the private sector to share information candidly varies greatly and it has been my experience that personal relationships are what makes the sharing work and that is one area where we need to address our efforts. There is mistrust and egos on both sides that will get in the way and that has to end. You can’t automate this, you can’t mandate this, it just takes time for a trusted, cooperative relationship to evolve. This is time that many believe we don’t have or at best time we are rapidly running out of.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Jan 27, 2011 at 12:12 PM


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