Think tank panel recommends that feds make major cybersecurity changes
Commission calls for new regulations on businesses, shift of responsibility from DHS
IDG News Service - The U.S. government should overhaul its approach to cybersecurity by imposing sweeping new regulations on businesses and creating a centralized cybersecurity office in the White House, an outside group of experts recommended today.
The White House office is needed because the Department of Homeland Security isn't equipped to protect the federal government against cyberattacks, according to a report issued by a cybersecurity commission that was set up last year by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Many members of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency "felt that leaving any cyber function at DHS would doom that function to failure," according to the report.
The 96-page report — which was presaged in September when some commission members testified at a congressional hearing — also calls for new government regulations focused on protecting computer networks in the U.S. Many of those regulations would focus on refining government efforts to protect its own cyber infrastructure, but regulations on private industry are needed as well, the report said.
In addition, the report rejected the market-driven approach to cybersecurity advanced by President Bush. "The strategy essentially abandoned cyber defense to ad hoc market forces," the report said. "In no other area of national security do we depend on private, voluntary efforts. We believe that cyberspace cannot be secured without regulation."
New regulations are needed for the IT, finance and energy industries — including the use of identity authentication credentials — and for supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, systems, the report said. The commission also called on the government to change its own acquisition rules for IT products to focus more on cybersecurity.
Furthermore, the report recommended that federal officials should allow U.S. residents to use government-issued cyber credentials for their online activities.
"Cybersecurity is among the most serious economic and national security challenges we will face in the 21st century," wrote James Lewis, director of the Technology and Public Policy Program at the CSIS. "Our research and interviews for this report made it clear that we face a long-term challenge in cyberspace from foreign intelligence agencies and militaries, criminals, and others, and that this struggle will wreak serious damage on the economic health and national security of the U.S. unless we respond vigorously."
The DHS, which has been the lead agency focused on cybersecurity, can be strengthened, according to the CSIS commission. But "the nature of our opponents, the attacks we face in cyberspace, and the growing risk to national and economic security mean that comprehensive cybersecurity falls outside the scope of DHS's competencies," the report said. "DHS is not the agency to lead in a conflict with foreign intelligence agencies or militaries or even well-organized international cyber criminals."
Obama and tech
- Report: Obama to name cybersecurity czar this week
- Report: President Obama to get secure BlackBerry 8830
- Obama administration said to consider military cybercommand
- Obama taps Melissa Hathaway for federal cybersecurity review
- IT Blogwatch: Obama's CTO is Aneesh Chopra
- Think tank panel recommends that feds make major cybersecurity changes
- New federal CIO Vivek Kundra wants a Web 2.0 government
- Obama's plans for health care IT: Too much money too soon?
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- Advanced Attacks Demand New Defenses
- Cyber-criminals wielding APTs have plenty of innovative techniques to evade network and endpoint defenses. It's scary stuff, and ignorance is definitely not bliss....
- Mission Critical: Managing Mobile Applications & Content
- Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have become embedded in enterprise processes, thanks to the consumerization of IT and a new generation of...
- Securing Mobility, From Device to Network
- At one time, the process of managing and securing mobile devices and applications was fairly straightforward. Most organizations worried about one application (email)...
- Planning for Mobile Success
- Many organizations are seeing clear and quantifiable benefits from the deployment of mobile technologies that provide access to data and applications any time,... All Government IT White Papers
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- DevOps with PureApplication System: Reduce cost and speed delivery with an integrated IBM Cloud solution Join this webcast to hear what ING Netherlands has been able to achieve while deploying DevOps tools from IBM Rational. An ING executive...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope...
- All Government IT Webcasts