Cybersecurity and the White House – part 5


This is my final post on the subject.  The Washington Post has posted an article on President Obama's Cyber Security Strategy.  Let's take a look at a few excerpts:

Obama Administration Outlines Cyber Security Strategy

President Barack Obama's administration has sketched out a broad new strategy to protect the nation's most vital information networks from cyber attack and to boost investment and research on cyber security.

The strategy, as outlined in a broader policy document on homeland security priorities posted on the Whitehouse.gov Web site Wednesday, states the following goals:

* Initiate a Safe Computing R&D Effort and Harden our Nation's Cyber Infrastructure: Support an initiative to develop next-generation secure computers and networking for national security applications. Work with industry and academia to develop and deploy a new generation of secure hardware and software for our critical cyber infrastructure.

I would say that this is an on-going battle.  It basically says that we need to upgrade our architecture as technology changes.  One of the big changes in the future?  IPv6.  I don't understand all of the technical challenges/threats surrounding IPv6, but rest assured it will introduce a lot of new ones that we don't have to deal with today.

* Protect the IT Infrastructure That Keeps America's Economy Safe: Work with the private sector to establish tough new standards for cyber security and physical resilience.

Cynically speaking, the private sector has, for a long time, been fighting for tougher standards for cyber security for a while.  On the other hand, since 2006, Cryptography exports from the U.S. are now (as of 2006) controlled by the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security.

In other words, this isn't so much a new program as it is a continuation and extension of an existing one.  I don't understand the whole cryptography export story; perhaps one day I shall do a blog series on it.

* Prevent Corporate Cyber-Espionage: Work with industry to develop the systems necessary to protect our nation's trade secrets and our research and development. Innovations in software, engineering, pharmaceuticals and other fields are being stolen online from U.S. businesses at an alarming rate.

I'm biting my tongue a bit on this one.  Why does the industry need to partner with government in order to protect its trade secrets?  Isn't it in the industry's own best interests to protect itself in order to protect its future profitability? 

* Appoint Terry Zink as the Chief of Cyber Security.

Well, I'm certainly flattered, but I'm quite happy where I am at the moment, thanks.  Besides which, I'd never hear the end of it from my Libertarian and Objectivist friends.

Other than the last point, this looks like quite a bit of fluff.

Skip to main content