Protecting the Information Infrastructure of the United States



The security of the United States depends on secure, reliable and resilient information systems. In light of this need the national security community came together to address traditional and emerging information security issues. Increasing security in cyber space is a very complex undertaking. Cyber security cuts across so many lines in the executive branch of government it creates a maze that is difficult to navigate. When you look at responding to and investigating cyber attacks, the Department of Homeland Security oversees protection of government networks.

What we need is a holistic approach that focuses on securing the physical and information infrastructure that is critical for our nation to function. In order for this to happen the government must form a tighter relationship with the private sector. This is primarily due to the fact that most of the Internet's infrastructure is owned and operated by private business. This is not a new issue. For nearly a decade now, the government has called for greater cooperation between the public and private sectors on this issue. So far the response from the private sector has been a cold shoulder. Increasing security around our information infrastructure to the level now required due to the threats by cyber war and organized criminal activity requires a huge and ambitious initiative. Cyber security has to become a top issue for the 44th president of the United States. Both candidates have very little to say about cyber security thus far. This month, the McCain campaign released a document that outlines his technology policy vision. A review of the document yielded very little insight into the issue of cyber security. In fact, it was barely mentioned. Obama's position is not much different. That being said, Obama has stated his intention to create a new White House position of the Federal Chief Technology Officer.

It is clear that the next president must focus on achieving our strategic security policy and doctrine as they relate to the issue of cyber crime, attacks and cyber warfare. Real-time security management, threat response and situational awareness activities coupled with fortification of the information infrastructure are critical capabilities to ensure that our information communications capabilities are not disrupted and continue to function under a seemingly endless variety of adverse conditions. The threats against our information assets in the public and private sectors have risen to a level that the risks now demand the immediate attention by the White House.

-- Kevin Coleman

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