Feeds

US Cybersecurity Agency launched

You can all now sleep safely

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the creation of a new cybersecurity division Friday, kindling a spark of optimism in technology industry groups that were losing faith in the government's commitment to computer security.

The new 60-person National Cyber Security Division will have three units, according to the announcement, and will provide "24 x 7 functions."

One unit is charged with identifying risks and reducing vulnerabilities to the government's own systems, as well as critical infrastructures like the power grid and telecommunications networks.

A second unit called the Cyber Security Tracking, Analysis, & Response Center will focus on the Internet, and attempt to detect and respond to major online incidents in coordination with other government agencies, foreign governments and the private sector. The third unit would create cybersecurity awareness programs.

"Most businesses in this country are unable to segregate the cyber operations from the physical aspects of their business because they operate interdependently," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said in a statement. "This new division will be focused on the vitally important task of protecting the nation's cyber assets so that we may best protect the nation's critical infrastructure assets."

The new division is part of the DHS's Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection directorate, which absorbed most of the government's existing cybersecurity agencies in March. The directorate is headed by former Coca-Cola Corp. security executive Robert Liscouski, but the new cybersecurity division does not yet have a leader.

Following a wave of resignations from top government cybersecurity posts earlier this year, industry groups began worrying publicly that cybersecurity was receiving short shrift from the Bush administration. Some of those groups greeted Friday's announcement with cautious optimism.

"I think it's a major step forward-- [though] it's certainly not exactly the way we would have structured it," says Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, a tech industry trade group. Miller notes that the administration's former cybersecurity czar, Richard Clarke, had a much higher position in government than the unfilled cybersecurity director's post. "Clarke was a special advisor to the President," says Miller. "Bureaucratically, it's a big jump down to a division director reporting to an assistant secretary."

But the new division clears up some of the confusion over how the DHS's cybersecurity efforts would be coordinated, says Will Rodger, director of public policy at the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) in Washington, DC.

"It wasn't clear where how these various groups were going to be coordinated, or what kind of relationship they were going to have with one another," Rodger says. "I think what this does is it puts out in very clear terms what a lot of folks had hoped would happen, in that DHS is integrating all the disparate elements of cybersecurity under one department."

© SecurityFocus

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.