White House Talks Cybersecurity

By: Absolute Team | 4/27/2009

Melissa Hathaway, who was appointed earlier this year to conduct a 60-day review of the cyber security efforts of the U.S. Government, presented at the RSA Conference on information security, with the report set to be released in a few days.

Melissa notes that our global digital infrastructure is neither secure nor resilient, driven by interoperability and efficiency rather than security. She notes that previous attempts at cybersecurity have been made in isolation and have failed; the Federal government is not organized to address this growing issue because responsibilities for cyberspace are distributed widely across federal departments and agencies.

During the 60-day review, the cybersecurity team identified 250 needs, tasks and recommendations for a national cyber security plan. The recommendation outlines a top-down approach to cyber security, with the White House leading the way and overseeing and working with other government agencies, State and local stakeholders, as well as those in academia and the industry.

Protecting cyberspace requires strong vision and leadership and will require changes in policy, technology, education, and perhaps law. We need to demonstrate abroad and here at home that the United States takes cyberspace issues, policies, and activities seriously. Achieving this vision requires leadership and commitment from the highest levels of government, industry, and civil society.

Here's a video of Melissa's speech:

The speech, if somewhat repetitive and littered with political fluff, does hint at many changes to come. Almost nothing was specified yet, and many are critical of it. Let's hope the report released in a few days will specify a bit more. Attempting to muster resources on the National and International level, across the government and private sectors, won't be an easy task!

Download Melissa Hathaway's prepared remarks here [PDF]

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