DHS embeds industry analyst at cyber watch center

Wednesday - 11/24/2010, 10:08am EST

Scott Algeier, Executive Director, Information Technology - Information Sharing and Analysis Center

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By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

The Department of Homeland Security's agreement with an organization of cyber specialists embeds a full-time analyst at the DHS' cyber watch center.

The analyst serves as a liaison between DHS' National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and the Information Technology Information Sharing and Analysis Center (IT ISAC), an IT industry organization.

The partnership allows government and industry to compare cyber threats, identify gaps in data and collaborate on threat responses, said Scott Algeier, executive director of IT ISAC, in an interview with Federal Drive

"The overall objective is based on the premise we can see collectively what we may miss individually," Algeier said.

Cyber space is not controlled by government or industry alone. In fact, the government has a national security interest but only controls a "small part" of cyber space, Algeier said.

The analyst is already cleared to work at DHS and will start reporting to NCCIC "any day now," as final preparations are made to the work station, Algeier said.

In the past, IT ISAC was reluctant to accept a large project like the one with DHS because the organization was expected to have all the answers before a project began, Algeier said.

But in cybersecurity work, you can't know all the answers at the beginning, he said.

The agreement between DHS and IT ISAC makes room for adjustments. Because cybersecurity is constantly evolving, the role of the analyst will likely evolve as well, he said.

"You don't need to understand how it's going to look four or five years down the line," Algeier said. "You need to start implementing some of these policies."

He added, "We can't let the unknown prevent us from moving forward."