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Cybersecurity — Emerging Technologies in Cybersecurity

As we start the new year, I am excited to kick off a series of blog posts for WHS focused on highlighting technology innovations for government (particularly homeland and cybersecurity technologies), discuss small business issues serving the federal sectors and other topics of interest relevant to small business.

Let me begin by talking about the topic that is on all of our minds – Cybersecurity

Recent events such as the April 2007 cyber attacks on Estonia and cyber attacks during the 2008 Georgian incursion have served to increase awareness that cybersecurity is not just about protecting computers, but also has implications for U.S. national security and economic well-being. As a result, Cybersecurity has climbed to the top of the list, making it as one of the key concerns facing our digital society. Today, most of cyber work is manual and preformed by individuals. Since there is a significant shortage of qualified cyber experts, the task of protecting our nation becomes a daunting task. In addition, the one consistent theme is that the cyber defenses commonly used today are simply not effective against most forms of advanced cyber attacks. Therefore, increasingly the government agencies require advice, assistance, coordination and products to support the operational planning and execution and technology development required to assure superiority for the war fighter in the cyber domain.

Today, most cyber work is manual and preformed by individuals. Since there is a significant shortage of qualified cyber experts, the task of protecting our nation becomes a daunting one. All experts agree that there are significant needs in the following areas: (1) standards (2) educated workforce (trained cyber specialists), and (3) cyber tools. Steven Chabinsky, Deputy Director of the Joint Interagency Cyber Task Force for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, stated at an information technology security conference that there are 12 objectives supporting the initiative’s goal of comprehensively addressing the nation’s cyber security concerns. These include the following:

1. Move toward managing a single federal enterprise network (an integrated communications system architecture for the federal government with common security standards across the network).

2. Deploy intrinsic detection systems.

3. Develop and deploy intrusion prevention tools.

4. Review and potentially redirect research and funding.

5. Connect current government cyber operations centers.

6. Develop a government-wide cyber intelligence plan.

7. Increase the security of classified networks.

8. Expand cyber education.

9. Define enduring leap-ahead technologies (investing in high-risk, high-reward

research and development to ensure transformational change).

10. Define enduring deterrent technologies and programs.

11. Develop multi-pronged approaches to supply chain risk management (potential tampering within the production line and the risk associated with computer products and parts made outside the United States).

12. Define the role of cybersecurity in private sector domains

In my upcoming blogs, I will highlight small and emerging technology companies that I believe are innovating in the cybersecurity market and making a difference. By the way, if you have not had the chance to see the 60-day Cyberspace Policy Review, you can find a copy of it here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/Cyberspace_Policy_Review_final.pdf