Government to Provide Intelligence on Cyber Threats

Wednesday, January 19, 2011



Howard Schmidt, presidential adviser and cybersecurity coordinator, announced the Obama administration's intention to provide businesses and the higher education community with cyber threat intelligence.

Schmidt's statements came during his presentation at the State of the Net summit hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C.

"I think we all recognize that the government has unique access to information. We need to continue to look for ways to share that information, but also give our universities and our businesses information to be able to protect themselves," said Schmidt.

The government will provide general advisories and specific warnings to help companies and universities shore up cyber defenses against known or mounting threats.

As an example, the FBI is known to have alerted companies in the financial sector of exploitable vulnerabilities in banking networks so businesses could mitigate threats prior to sustaining any collateral damage.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., also spoke of the need for increased cooperation between the public and private sectors in regards to cyber defense efforts.

"We need solutions that contain incentives to encourage business to adopt best practices to security... no one-size fits all mandate from Washington," Goodlatte said.

Congressional panels are exploring the idea of granting limited liability protection from lawsuits to businesses who voluntarily report network vulnerabilities and mitigation efforts.

Many companies are reluctant to share vulnerability and breach event information for fear of legal repercussions from clients, business partners and investors.

Such reporting would allow other companies and organizations with similar network systems to make adjustments prior to experiencing a security event.


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