Risk
8/16/2010
02:19 PM
50%
50%

NASA In Position To Foster Global Cybersecurity

Symantec's CTO, speaking at the first-ever NASA IT Summit, said the U.S. needs to collaborate more closely with other nations to protect critical infrastructure worldwide.




Slideshow: Cloud Security Pros And Cons
(click for larger image and for full photo gallery)
Among federal agencies, NASA is uniquely well-positioned to help the U.S. cooperate globally on cybersecurity, the CTO of security vendor Symantec said Monday.

Speaking at the first-ever NASA IT Summit, Mark Bregman, Chief Technology Officer, Symantec, said that collaboration between the U.S. and other nations to protect critical IT infrastructure around the world is sorely lacking.

"Diplomacy on worldwide cybersecurity cooperation is not working well at the tactical level," he said. "Technology is developing at such a rapid pace that policymakers are playing a catch-up game. There's an urgent need for diplomacy to kick starter international cooperation on cybersecurity."

While multiple U.S. agencies are working to come up with standards for addressing cybersecurity, NASA, which historically has worked successfully with other nations on space projects, can pave the way for creating a safer IT environment globally. Bregman said.

"I think NASA plays a unique role as a very visible and open agency that can play unique role to encourage global cooperation in the world of cyber security," he said.

Bregman is not alone in noting that little has been done so far to work across nations to secure critical infrastructure. In fact, even lawmakers in the U.S. have yet to pass a comprehensive cybersecurity plan for how to handle the issue stateside, though, as he pointed out, multiple bills are being bandied about in Congress.

A recent report by the General Accountability Office (GAO) released earlier this month found that because of the number of federal organizations involved in shaping cybersecurity policy and processes, the United States is challenged even at home to unify its policies and message on cybersecurity before it can even begin to work with other nations to secure networks.

Bregman also outlined some challenges he sees to the task at hand. Among them are basic metrics all nations can use to gauge their cybersecurity efforts, including the way security is reviewed, managed and implemented. Education and awareness and a clear definition about what cybersecurity is also are needed, he said.

Bregman pointed to a survey that found most Americans think they've never used cloud computing services, yet most admitted to regularly using web-based email.

Response like this shows "a disconnect between their understanding of the cloud and what they read in the newspaper," and shows that many people aren't even aware of the security threat that exists when they store personal information online.

Lawmakers in the U.S. also need to agree on a common definition of cybersecurity and begin to think beyond the boundaries of state, local or even national boundaries for global collaboration to be effective, Bregman said.

Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles the U.S. faces on the issue is apathy from other nations that don't have a vested interest in working together on cybersecurity.

"Many nations have no real incentive to collaborate with the U.S.," he said. To tackle this problem, federal agencies must provide incentives -- particularly to developing nations that are a breeding ground for hackers -- to show how cooperating on cybersecurity benefits them.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-9676
Published: 2015-02-27
The seg_write_packet function in libavformat/segment.c in ffmpeg 2.1.4 and earlier does not free the correct memory location, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service ("invalid memory handler") and possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted video that triggers a use after free.

CVE-2014-9682
Published: 2015-02-27
The dns-sync module before 0.1.1 for node.js allows context-dependent attackers to execute arbitrary commands via shell metacharacters in the first argument to the resolve API function.

CVE-2015-0655
Published: 2015-02-27
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Unified Web Interaction Manager in Cisco Unified Web and E-Mail Interaction Manager allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via vectors related to a POST request, aka Bug ID CSCus74184.

CVE-2015-0884
Published: 2015-02-27
Unquoted Windows search path vulnerability in Toshiba Bluetooth Stack for Windows before 9.10.32(T) and Service Station before 2.2.14 allows local users to gain privileges via a Trojan horse application with a name composed of an initial substring of a path that contains a space character.

CVE-2015-0885
Published: 2015-02-27
checkpw 1.02 and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a -- (dash dash) in a username.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.