Feeds

Securing cyberspace against war, terror and red tape

DHS's Greg Garcia in the hot seat

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Do you think that some sort of digital Pearl Harbor is possible in the next decade and if so, how likely do you think it is?

Our networks are so distributed and resilient and redundant that a massive attack that would bring down the internet - I don't think that's possible. I direct your attention to a report from the Business Roundtable last fall. What they said was: We have to envision a situation where you could have multiple coordinated attacks against different pockets of the internet infrastructure such that it degrades confidence in the internet as our mode of doing business.

If we lose confidence in that and we cease to want to use it, or we cease to be able to use it, then our business continuity is at stake. So we as CEOs have a responsibility to ensure we have business continuity. That's what cyber security is about.

It's about the operations of my business and I as CEO have a responsibility to my shareholders and to my board of directors to ensure that I'm paying attention to this and am taking protective measures and investing in the technology, investing in the people, investing in the best practices and policies to make sure we're doing the right thing.

Talk to me a little bit about your own experience with security. Have you ever been a victim of, or worked for the defense of, a network that was under attack?

I as a home user do everything I am supposed to do. I keep my anti-virus up to date and keep my firewall turned on. I have seen in the past spyware infect my personal computer, just as everybody has. My role at DHS is to co-ordinate all of those efforts from the operational side of my US CERT to the preparedness side of building the culture of securing across the country. I've not been a hacker. There are those who know how to do it, but I'm more interested in national policy and national strategy.

Over the last year there have been dozens of reports of flash drives, hard drives, iPods, all kinds of different devices you can buy at Best Buy or wherever else, with spyware loaded on to them. Do you worry that it's also possible to put on a much more nefarious software that has implications for homeland security?

Absolutely. We are acutely aware of potential vulnerabilities across the global supply chain. We live in a global manufacturing environment and that is the natural order of a global business. But with that comes risks that anywhere along the supply chain we could see vulnerabilities into products that are manufactured abroad, whether its hardware or software. This is something we have put more resources into at DHS and that is working with the private sector to consider how we can get a handle on the global supply chain.

Thanks very much.

Good talking with you. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
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
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.