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8/14/2009
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Feds To Use Wiki For Cybersecurity Collaboration

The Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies will use the platform to share operational information on cybersecurity threats and best practices.

The Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Center plans to deploy a wiki to facilitate collaboration among federal agencies on cybersecurity.

NCSC and other agencies will use the wiki for real-time information sharing on threats, attacks, and responses and as a repository for technical and standards information. NCSC is headed by DHS deputy undersecretary of national protection and programs and former Microsoft exec Phil Reitinger, and one of its primary missions is to coordinate federal cybersecurity efforts.

"NCSC is engaging industry expertise to develop a Web 2.0- and 3.0-enabled collaboration platform -- this is an important piece of the larger NCSC vision of meaningful collaboration across government," a DHS spokeswoman said in a statement. "Once completed, the wiki and other mechanisms will leverage the individual strengths and technical competencies among the federal government's cyber security centers."

Improving coordination of the various cybersecurity initiatives in government is priority of the Obama Administration, though the results have been mixed. Former NCSC director Rod Beckstrom stepped down earlier this year amid complaints of a cybersecurity turf war, and the national cybersecurity czar position remains unfilled. The wiki is a other sign of the administration's intentions for improved coordination, but tangible results remain to be seen.

Other agencies that will be working with NCSC on the wiki are the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, the Department of Defense Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations, the Intelligence Community Incident Response Center, the Defense Cyber Crimes Center, the National Security Agency's Central Security Service Threat Operations Center, and the FBI's National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force.

The wiki will serve as one tool among several that Reitinger and the NCSC are employing to bring cybersecurity efforts together, including the creation of common procedures and data standards, weekly reporting requirements, and coordination with other federal agencies that have standards and policy authority.

According to a pre-solicitation notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site, DHS plans to award collaboration start-up WiiKno with a contract unless other bidders step forward and to ramp up the wiki later this year.


InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on strategic security. Download the report here (registration required).

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