Feeds

Securing cyberspace against war, terror and red tape

DHS's Greg Garcia in the hot seat

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.