Federal Agencies Agree to Work Harmoniously for Cyber Security
September 1, 2011 4:44 PM
comment(s) - last by
Confusion over who to call during a cyber attack remains a frustration for federal bureaucracies
The Department of Defense (DOD), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) all compete for cyber security primacy
Cyber security has become an increasingly important issue in recent years due to the number of attacks launched against corporations and governments around the world. For instance, hacker groups
as well as others have broken into several corporate websites/records such as
, Fox and
. Government websites such as those for the
and top U.S. government information technology services provider
were hacked as well.
Dealing with cyber attacks is difficult for government security agencies because it's hard to tell if it's an act of war or just smaller-scale criminal acts. An even larger problem in dealing with cyber attacks is determining who to call when one occurs. For instance, a cyber attack on a Department of Defense network might seem like an obvious job for the military, but if the attack occurred within the U.S., it would be categorized in criminal statutes.
The September 11 terrorist attacks shed some light on the fact that federal agencies don't always work well with one another (and haven't for decades), and that some fight over who should be called first in the case of such an attack. For instance, during the September 11 terrorist attacks, the CIA, FBI and law enforcement officers were criticized for not working with one another when the CIA knew the approximate location of the attackers but did not tell the FBI.
There are four different federal agencies that deal with cyber security, including the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The NSA and DHS are
competitive over primacy
in cyber security, where the NSA has asked for the lead role in this particular area in the past. But the NSA has a bit of a shady past with issues like its warrantless wiretapping program that was discovered in 2005. There are debates as to whether the NSA should play a lead role in certain situations, but the Obama administration noted that it recognizes DHS as the leader in cyber security.
Despite who the leader in
is, these federal agencies are supposed to coordinate their efforts through Howard Schmidt, the president's cyber security coordinator since 2009. While Schmidt doesn't have the budget or staff he would like, his role in keeping the agencies on the same page helps keep some order. He also recognizes (and helped the agencies recognize) that each agency has its own area of expertise, and would know who to call in certain situations.
There are some circumstances, however, where disorganization is preferred. According to Travis Sharp, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington D.C., an "overarching" agency could be troublesome in some cases. But overall, a cyber security coordinator acting as a "clearinghouse" for these agencies is the better approach.
While feuds and debates have caused tension within the federal bureaucracies for years, James Lewis, a director and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, noted that the different agencies have become much better at coordinating and sharing information with one another over the last three years. NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander agreed.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
9/2/2011 1:41:55 PM
I agree but when the NSA asks for those phone bills/records, people start crying about illegal wire tapping despite those phone records being available to numerous other sources (think third party) that the phone companies sell our information to.... I wish people would get their priorities straight - I don't care if gov't agencies have access to my bills, I DO care if DoubleClick (and others) has access.
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
Global Cyber Security Push is Underway
July 6, 2011, 7:28 AM
LulzSec Downs CIA's Public Site, Appears to be Subject of Framing Attempt
June 15, 2011, 7:20 PM
Gmail Accounts Hacked; Google Suspects Chinese Involvement
June 2, 2011, 11:04 AM
Reports: Hackers Use Stolen RSA Information to Hack Lockheed Martin
May 30, 2011, 10:14 AM
Sony to PS3, PSP Owners: Your Credit Card Info May Have Been Stolen, Good Luck!
April 26, 2011, 4:55 PM
Microsoft "Welcomes Developers" to Its New "Edge Browser" (Codename: Spartan)
April 29, 2015, 7:25 PM
Tech's Biggest Loser on Tax Day: eBay Pays Nearly 99 Percent Tax Rate
April 15, 2015, 3:28 PM
Death and Dragons -- Report Claims Game of Thrones Hit by Piracy "Tidal Wave"
April 10, 2015, 8:37 AM
Court Blocks Twitter and YouTube in Turkey After Pro-Communist Attack in Istanbul
April 6, 2015, 10:53 AM
In Graphics and Quotes: $10.4 Billion Charter & Bright House Merger
April 2, 2015, 5:19 PM
WSJ Report Implies That Google Leveraged Lobbying to Kill Antitrust Abuse Probe
March 25, 2015, 5:37 PM
Most Popular Articles
Windows 10 Build 10061: A Quick Review
April 27, 2015, 10:57 AM
Ding Dong the Deal is Dead: What's Next After Failed Comcast/TWC Merger
April 28, 2015, 2:06 PM
Report: Apple Pulls the Plug on Apple Watch Store Launch
April 16, 2015, 3:18 PM
Quick Note: Lady Macbath -- One Japanese Woman's Apple Themed Revenge
April 23, 2015, 11:47 AM
After Record-Setting Week, Samsung Predicts 70 Million GS6/GS6 Edge Sales
April 17, 2015, 8:39 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information