Feeds

Securing cyberspace against war, terror and red tape

DHS's Greg Garcia in the hot seat

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Interview In September 2006, the US Secretary of Homeland Security appointed Greg Garcia assistant secretary for cybersecurity and telecommunications. With oversight for the National Cyber Security Division, the Office of Emergency Communications and the National Communications System, he is the federal government's point man for securing the nation's internet and telecommunications' systems against attacks from terrorists or countries that may target the US.

The Register sat down with him during the RSA security conference and a couple of things quickly became clear: One, he'd much prefer to see free market forces secure cyberspace than rely on the long arm of the government; and two, like the president he serves, he believes the execution of his duties is pretty much flawless.

El Reg: It's been about 18 months since you've been on the job. That's a nice number for report cards, or to check in and see how you're doing. In your judgment, what are your biggest accomplishments and what's the biggest failure or thing that you would have liked to accomplish that you haven't?

I think the biggest accomplishments so far are just the level of visibility that cyber security has taken on, not just in the DHS but across the government. I think the cyber initiative is the evidence of that. Leading up to that we had a number of very compelling accomplishments, the biggest of which was in May of last year we released the 17 sector specific plans as part of the national infrastructure protection plan.

This is where each of the critical sectors got together with their agency counterparts in the federal government, sat down side by side, two pens and a piece of paper and mapped out what commitments we are going to make collectively to do the national vulnerability assessment that's necessary across our networks and take the steps to mitigate them. That was a true illustration of the partnership model at work and that it's working. There were trust relationships built around that.

I think over the past 18 months I would look back and say the level of engagement of this partnership between the private sector and the public sector is I think a tremendous accomplishment.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.