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Two events in 2006 changed the way federal agencies and contractors viewed and understood cybersecurity. Those two now-seminal events brought cybersecurity out from underneath the IT blanket and into the mainstream. In our special report, Cybersecurity Rising, Federal News Radio looks back at how those events influenced significant change in securing federal systems and how senior leaders talk about and grasp the importance of cybersecurity.
Top Cybersecurity Accomplishments, 2006-2012
Thursday - 10/25/2012, 3:13am EDT
Federal News Radio polled current and former federal cybersecurity experts for their opinion on what were the most significant cybersecurity accomplishments since 2006 to secure federal networks and improve public-private partnerships. The list below blends suggestions of more than 10 authorities on federal cybersecurity. The accomplishments are in no particular order.
Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative— The White House developed the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) in 2008 — including the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) Initiative and Einstein 3 intrusion detection and prevention program. It was the first governmentwide policy to address the threats and challenges in cyberspace.
U.S. Cyber Command—
DoD Information Sharing— DoD created the Defense Industrial Base pilot to enhance the security of the defense supply chain. It also put the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) on the map as the DIB front door helping to fuse DC3's forensics capability with the National Counter Intelligence Center and the law enforcement community.
Howard Schmidt is the White House cybersecurity coordinator. (Photo:WhiteHouse.gov)
800-53 Integration— DoD, the intelligence community and the National Institute of Standards and Technology worked together to interlock policies to create the national risk management framework. The special publication also showed how the government and private sector could collaborate on security controls.
Consensus Audit Guidelines— Public and private sector experts agreed upon the 20 steps that agencies and organizations can take immediately to close up holes in their networks and systems. The guidelines were drawn, in part, from the Air Force's creation of a standardized desktop configuration. State also showed the guidelines reduced its measured security risk by more than 94 percent through the automation and measurement of the controls.
DHS Responsibility Grows—
Cyber Storm III exercise participant briefs Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute during the exercise kickoff at U.S. Secret Service headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 2010. (Photo:DHS.gov)
National Level Cybersecurity Exercise— DHS held the first cyber storm in February 2006 and three more since to prepare federal, state, local and private sector organizations for the possibility of a cyber attack or other cyber problem. It also has helped senior officials better grasp the implications of a cyber attack.
Cross Sector Working Group— DHS led the effort to create a group of subject matter experts from 19 private sector critical infrastructure communities to work together to develop and put into use a framework in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan.
Column: Cyber dominance meaningless without skilled workforce (Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I.)
Column: Cyber inaction may be our Achilles' heel (Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas)