Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Are we moving fast enough to secure our networks?

The threats of cyberattacks against our nation’s critical infrastructure have been the topic of conversation for some time now. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, said at the 2011 RSA Conference that it's time to "refine the roles of government and the private sector in securing this nation's critical networks." In recent testimony, Alexander also said that Cyber Command would have to work with the Homeland Security Department and the FBI to secure the country's critical infrastructure.

At this time, DHS is the entity that has primary responsibility for protecting our nation’s critical infrastructure. This responsibility was established by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7, which states the department will serve as a focal point entered into an agreement that stated DOD and DHS agree to "provide mutually beneficial logistical and operational support" to one another.

Alexander admitted that this will be difficult to sell to the private businesses involved. Isn’t the private-sector addressing this threat? Is it moving fast enough given this threat? Does it have the threat intelligence and financial resources necessary to address this threat? Nobody seems to have the answers to these questions.

Pending legislation, the time it takes to rehabilitate our aging infrastructure coupled with what appears to be a question of who is in charge, makes one wonder whether we are moving fast enough. Let’s hope so because if we are not, the costs will be substantial.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Mar 03, 2011 at 12:12 PM


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