Cooperation Key to Cyber Security

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In a recent post, I touted the merits of a Government Accountability Office report outlining the need for more robust cyber security practices. I also described the National Security Agency’s “Perfect Citizen Program” as a vital step in the right direction. Now, it seems, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security are also heeding the call.

This past week, it was reported that DHS has been dispatching teams of cyber security experts to assess defensive capabilities at key power plants across the country. Homeland Security is wise to focus on the power grid, as the GAO’s report explicitly cited the nation’s energy infrastructure as a leading target for cyber attacks.

The FBI’s recent comments at the International Conference on Cyber Security are also encouraging. FBI Director Robert Mueller III emphasized the need for proactive measures to prevent attacks, and praised the Conference as “a perfect venue to advance the fight against cyber crime”.

It is reassuring to know these agencies and the international community are taking this threat seriously. But if the intelligence community has learned one lesson in the aftermath of 9/11, it’s that the need for effective collaboration among disparate agencies is the crux of effective defense. While the NSA, DHS, and FBI are all taking steps in the right direction, our nation’s infrastructure will only be safe from cyber threats if our intelligence agencies share their findings and develop a concerted effort to thwart future attacks.

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