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New Cybersecurity Posts Create New Jobs and Same Old Fears

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 | 4:16 PM Leave a comment Go to comments

As the Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up in Las Vegas on Sunday, the technology world showed no signs of slowing.

Meanwhile, over in the neighboring state of Utah, the National Security Agency was also prepping for advancements in technology, with its sights set on IT security.

Breaking ground on its new $1.2 billion cybersecurity center, the Associated Press reports that the NSA will use the site “to help the US Department of Homeland Security and other agencies protect national security networks and identify cyber threats.”

Why Utah?  According to the AP, the NSA’s new digs will focus on both domestic and international issues, pointing out that “a high percentage of Utah’s population, predominantly members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaks a foreign language.”

But before you pack up to head out west for work, note that the private sector might be pushing back on a hiring free-for-all at the NSA’s new site.

Going off a recent NPR report that Estonia has taken up a volunteer call-of-duty approach to cyber defense for its nation, Art Coviello, president of security firm RSA, told the Huffington Post that that type of tactic would not work for the US and its complex collection of networks.

Coviello, who backs the often-debated idea of public/private partnerships, held that “until recently we’ve not had sufficient expertise in the government to secure our critical infrastructure from cyber attacks.”

Offering up private sector support, Coviello went on to add, “Let us not be misinformed about our nation’s ability and desire to harness the knowledge and experience of the private sector to defend our critical infrastructure. We stand ready to help.”

Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce will also stand ready to help with government cybersecurity.

According to a Commerce press release, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke were at Stanford University on Friday to announce the establishment of the National Program Office, the Commerce Department’s newest setup.

Aiming to protect online transactions and provide additional privacy for Internet users, the new office will also operate to “coordinate federal activities needed to implement the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), an Obama administration initiative aimed at establishing identity solutions and privacy-enhancing technologies that will make the online environment more secure and convenient for consumers.”

But with the mention of the NSTIC, the Commerce’s new cyber office is already drawing headline heat, as some media reports speculate that the plan would assign an Internet ID to every American citizen, thereby decreasing the sense of web anonymity and further increasing the debate on online privacy.

Thus we extend a special thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle for stepping up to the plate today to offer more insight into the concept of a citizen cyber tag.

Advising that Obama’s Internet ID plan would not be just another form of national identification, the newspaper noted that using the Internet ID code could be opt-in policy that would cut back on the number of passwords a person has to remember and would also require conjuring up the private sector for assistance.

Had enough? If not, additional cybersecurity news headlines follow:

Defense Department expands cyber DMZs (Federal News Radio)

The Very Real Danger Beyond Cyberhackers: Inside Leaks (The Atlantic)

IG Report: GSA Needs to Enforce Cybersecurity Policies (ExecutiveGov)

Why ruin really necessary cybersecurity legislation with a really bad idea? (The Hill)

Experts fear cyberspammers are plotting new attack modes (USA Today)

Top 10 Government IT Predictions For 2011 (InformationWeek)

Congress may be able to tackle tech issues in 2011, but cyber bill may be difficult (ComputerWorld)

Homegrown Software is Not Secure (NetworkWorld)

Cybercriminals are evolving their security subversion strategy, says Fortinet (InfoSecurity)

Cyber-Retaliation a new government threat (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

WikiLeaks story underscores year in security (Silicon Republic)

The Top Four Cyber Threats for 2011 (ABC News)

Cybersecurity Experts Create Program That Steals Text Messages (MSNBC)

Ex-Hacker Enhancing Businesses’ Network Security (TMCNet)

The weak link in security: People (GovComputerNews)

Who will be to blame for the loss of a cyberwar? (SC Magazine)

Video: Breached: A Cyber Attack in America (NBC Washington)

Video: Morgan Stanley IT director discuses cyber war and defense (CNBC)


Germany establishing cyber defense center (UPI)

US, Qatar move closer on security issues (UPI)

Ireland’s FG site data breach investigated (Irish Times)

Estonia considers a nerd draft to staff cyber army (Time Magazine)

Richards calls for UK cyber command (Public Service UK)

Australia’s PM needs to take reins on cybersecurity (ZDNet)

Sri Lanka cybersecurity agency worries about SMS scams (NextGov)

Kenya police site remains disabled (Kenya Broadcasting Corp)


Cisco spent $470,000 on lobbying in 3Q (Bloomberg)

TechAmerica spent $280,000 on lobbying in 3Q (Bloomberg)

Sourcefire acquires Immunet for $21 million (Baltimore Sun)

Netwitness to expand in Fairfax (Washington Business Journal)

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