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Cybersecurity: “A Long Way Since September 11”

Friday, June 25, 2010 | 10:15 AM Leave a comment Go to comments

In a letter to the editor this morning in the Washington Post, Philip Reitinger, deputy undersecretary for national protection and programs at the Department of Homeland Security, pointed out that “Cybersecurity has come a long way since September 11.”

Reitinger’s comments come as rebuttal to DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner’s announcement last week that the Department was experiencing shortfalls in the cybersecurity office, the US-CERT.

While Reitinger may be right that the US has made cybersecurity strides over the past nine years, it seems cybersecurity has also picked up momentum over the past few days.

According to The Hill, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs yesterday moved to approve Sens. Lieberman, Collins and Carper’s comprehensive cybersecurity bill, The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act.  That is, after the much debated “kill switch” portion of the bill was amended “to limit the president’s authority in the event of a cyber emergency.”

Of the “kill switch” concept, Sen. Collins noted, “It’s been frustrating to read some of the misrepresentations of our bill in the cybersphere… I believe the substitute amendment we’re offering strengthens those protections even more.”  The bill now heads to the floor for a full-Senate vote.

Down the Hill, over on Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House is expected today to release a new draft of its National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, a plan intended to establish authentication and identity for Internet transactions.

And as we wait to see what will be rolled out in the new Strategy later today, Information Week’s Mathew Schwartz reports, “Simply issuing a Web-friendly biometric identification card to everyone in the country, of course, wouldn’t necessarily make anyone or anything more secure, including online transactions.”

Additional cybersecurity news follows…

Cybersecurity debate: No more secrets. Then what? (Huffington Post)

General Wesley Clark says cyber attacks can be prevented (Defense Pro)

Cybersecurity has to be enhanced all around the world (Estonia Free Press)

A look at the smart grid cybersecurity market (eSecurity Planet)

Are you prepared? Five steps to cybersecurity risk assessment (TMC Net)

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