Cybersecurity report offers Obama assorted recommendations

Report says leaving cybersecurity in the hands of Homeland Security dooms the effort to failure and maintains that some IT manufacturing must remain at home

A congressionally sponsored study conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, made public on Monday, recommends everything from the creation of a the National Office for Cyberspace outside the authority of the Department of Homeland Security to maintaining "sufficient manufacturing capabilities" at home to supply components and software that is not dependent on a global supply chain.

On the issue of the US Department of Homeland Security and maintaining cybersecurity, the comprehensive 64-page report, titled Securing Cyberspace in the 44th Presidency, was emphatic.

"Many felt that leaving any cyber function at DHS would doom that function to failure," according to the report, which went on to state that a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity "falls outside the scope of DHS's competencies."

One of the more far-reaching conclusions of the committee that may have unexpected consequences is the inclusion of the private sector under the umbrella of national security. In going beyond anything stated in the past about our economic well-being and national security it is implying that private enterprise may have to comply with new security regulations.

Time and again the report references our economic well-being and calls for a "public-private partnership for cybersecurity."

Under the heading "Rebuilding Partnership with the Private Sector," the committee offers three recommendations to build trust between company executives and the government: a Presidential Advisory Committee; a town hall national stakeholders organization as a platform for discussion; and a Center for Cybersecurity Operations (CCSO) for public and private sector entities to collaborate and share information on critical cybersecurity in a trusted environment.

As the private sector continues to be used by the government for products and services ranging from data warehousing to building jet fighter planes, the relationship between national security and the private sector becomes more and more blurred, according to the report.

Tom Kellerman, chair of the commission's Threats Working Group said that over 100 countries have been identified as using military-level cyber technology to aid their national companies in stealing intellectual property.

"Many of these countries endow [their] national corporations with cyber espionage capabilities so as to steal intellectual property for the sake of economic advantage."

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Ephraim Schwartz

InfoWorld
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