Risk
12/20/2010
12:32 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

DHS Secretary Asserts Cybersecurity Leadership

Cybersecurity should be led by the Department of Homeland Security and not left to the market or the military, Janet Napolitano said.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
Cybersecurity should be left neither to the free market nor to the military to solve, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Janet Napolitano said in a speech in Washington, D.C., last week as she reasserted her agency's role as the locus of cybersecurity authority in the federal government.

"Cyberspace is fundamentally a civilian space," Napolitano said. "There are some who say cybersecurity should be left to the market, and there are some who characterize the Internet as a battlefield. Both the market and the battlefield analogies are the wrong ones to use. We should be talking about this as, fundamentally, a civilian space and a civilian benefit that employs partnerships with the private sector and across the globe."

The DHS has taken the lead in the federal government on cybersecurity measures via its National Cyber Security Division. That group this year headed up a major international and inter-governmental cyber exercise, Cyber Storm III, and continued ramping up efforts to protect federal systems and critical infrastructure like power plants.

Napolitano has been an ardent supporter of DHS' leadership role, but while she implied a DHS-centered view of cybersecurity, she did admit that DHS can't do it alone. "It is our goal to build one of the very best teams that we can to tackle the cybersecurity challenge," she added. "No single industry or agency, quite frankly, can manage it. Cybersecurity is about effective partnerships and shared security."

This year, DHS has expanded partnerships with private industry, for example doing a substantial amount of investigative work on the Stuxnet worm that infiltrated power plant control systems earlier this year and working to build up liaisons with private sector industries it deems to be "critical."

DHS has also improved its partnerships with military and military intelligence this year. In October, DHS and the Department of Defense signed a cybersecurity pact to improve collaboration between the agencies and boost DHS' encryption and decryption capabilities by comingling National Security Agency (NSA) cryptologic analysts and DHS cybersecurity leadership in a move that signaled progress in a sometimes uneasy relationship with the military.

"We're working very closely along and across the federal family, particularly having worked out really the thorny issues involving how the NSA is to be used in a civilian context for protection and prevention, as well as in a military context," Napolitano said last week.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2006-1318
Published: 2014-09-19
Microsoft Office 2003 SP1 and SP2, Office XP SP3, Office 2000 SP3, Office 2004 for Mac, and Office X for Mac do not properly parse record lengths, which allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a malformed control in an Office document, aka "Microsoft Office Control Vulnerability."

CVE-2012-2588
Published: 2014-09-19
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in MailEnable Enterprise 6.5 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) From, (2) To, or (3) Subject header or (4) body in an SMTP e-mail message.

CVE-2012-6659
Published: 2014-09-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the admin interface in Phorum before 5.2.19 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted URL.

CVE-2014-1391
Published: 2014-09-19
QT Media Foundation in Apple OS X before 10.9.5 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (memory corruption and application crash) via a crafted movie file with RLE encoding.

CVE-2014-3614
Published: 2014-09-19
Unspecified vulnerability in PowerDNS Recursor (aka pdns_recursor) 3.6.x before 3.6.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via an unknown sequence of malformed packets.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio