Welcome back, Cybersecurity News readers, with an extra welcome extended out to new readers gained from the 2011 RSA Conference.
As the hype surrounding the potential government shutdown continues, one small piece of Capitol Hill has already closed its doors for good.
According to Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), the long-debated idea of the Internet ‘kill switch’ is dead.
Lieberman, who last year rolled out a comprehensive cybersecurity bill alongside Sens. Collins (R-Maine) and Carper (D-Del.), said in a statement that the legislation has been updated to include that “neither the President, the Director of the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications or any officer or employee of the United States Government shall have the authority to shut down the Internet.”
“Last month, during the State of the Union address, the President laid out all the big visions for the future of the American economy,” White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt recalled in his opening remarks of a cybersecurity town hall meeting at the annual RSA Conference underway in San Francisco.
Reflecting on President Obama’s push for innovation in the digital age, Schmidt advised that it is “critical” for the government to collaborate with the private sector to carry out future accomplishments.
But the cyber czar said that in working with industry, the government must first “lead by example,” calling for more transparency, accountability and international engagement in issues surrounding security and the Internet.
Addressing what he called “the most technically sophisticated audience,” US Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn III took the RSA Conference stage on Tuesday to discuss the Armed Forces’ role in defending a new domain: cyberspace.
“Information technology is at the core of our most important military capabilities,” Lynn told the crowd of thousands of security experts. “It gives us the ability to navigate with accuracy, to communicate with certainty, to see the battlefield with clarity, and to strike with precision. But for all the wonderful capabilities technology enables in our military, it also introduces enormous vulnerabilities.”
Referencing one major vulnerability in particular, Lynn said the 2008 breach of US military networks by a foreign intelligence agency’s corrupt thumb drive caused a change in demeanor on how the Defense Department approaches its take on cybersecurity.
“The old Internet is dying off and a new Internet is emerging,” said Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, referring to the shift to cloud computing.
The concept, which merges all IT components into one virtual ‘cloud’ for end-users, has been a hot topic in the tech world and was up for discussion on Monday in an opening summit on cloud security at the 2011 RSA Conference in San Francisco.
“We’re moving into one of the most exciting new technology opportunities of our time,” said Benioff on the topic.
But the CEO wasn’t alone in championing for cloud. Vivek Kundra, Chief Information Officer of the United States, was also on site to unveil a new government initiative to move federal agencies over to the model.
Next week Cybersecurity News will be coming to you live from the 2011 RSA Conference inside San Francisco’s Moscone Center.
In advance of the week-long event, RSA today held a press teleconference to discuss the security industry, trends and what to expect from the keynote speakers, panelists, exhibitors and other industry experts coming together in the Bay Area next week.
Joining RSA on the call, Rob Ayoub, industry manger of the North America Information and Communication Technologies Practice at Frost & Sullivan, laid out the lines on what he expects to be the hot topics of this year’s conference. His predications: Cloud, mobile security and privacy.
Calling all hackers – the Department of Defense may be looking for you. But before you put your 1s and 0s into hiding, note that your efforts could add value to US Defense and to your wallet.
According to NextGov, the Department’s Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) has launched a new program called the Cyber Fast Track, which will recruit and compensate cybersecurity experts for their time and research.
But unlike other DoD programs (like the Department’s recent announcement of the public-private sector IT employee swap), DARPA’s new program intends to extend its recruiting reach beyond the realm of the typical, professional Internet expert.
As news of Egypt’s unrest continues to roll in, for many in the nation, it seems web and mobile services continue to remain out.
And just as quickly as the word spread across the globe, at home in the US, the tech world couldn’t help but to sync up those three, little hot-button words that help bring meaning and debate to the issue at hand.
Cue the ‘Internet kill switch.’