CSIA Calls for Stronger Security

The Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA) called on the Department of Homeland Security to demonstrate stronger leadership

July 14, 2006

2 Min Read
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ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Cyber Security IndustryAlliance (CSIA) today called on the Department of Homeland Security todemonstrate stronger leadership on cyber security by filling the positionof Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security and Telecommunications that wascreated one year ago this week.

"While the Department of Homeland Security clearly has had a lot ofvery important priorities to manage, it is troubling that after an entireyear, we still have not seen this crucial position filled," said PaulKurtz, executive director of CSIA. "This is not a simple personnel issue.It is indicative of the ongoing lack of attention being paid to cybersecurity at the most senior levels of government. Without strong federalleadership, our national information infrastructure remains at risk with noone clearly in charge of coordinating its security and reliability."

Secretary Michael Chertoff announced the creation of the AssistantSecretary for Cyber Security and Telecommunications position on July 13,2005 as part of a six-point agenda to realign the Department's policies,operations and structures to better address potential threats. The agendawas created after the Second Stage Review, a careful study of theDepartment's programs, policies, operations and structure.

According to the Department's agenda, the new Assistant Secretary forCyber Security and Telecommunications would be responsible for "identifyingand assessing the vulnerability of critical telecommunicationsinfrastructure and assets; providing timely, actionable and valuable threatinformation; and leading the national response to cyber andtelecommunications attacks."

"Critical information infrastructure underpins our economy and nationalsecurity and yet just last month the Business Roundtable issued a reportstating that our nation is not prepared to handle a major cyber disruption.It is simply not acceptable that our government does not have a high-level,dedicated position to oversee the prevention, response and recovery fromthreats to our information infrastructure," said Kurtz. "There is noshortage of qualified candidates to serve as Assistant Secretary, just asthere is no shortage of hackers eager to wreak havoc on our informationinfrastructure and national economy. Until we fill this position andaddress other shortcomings of our national cyber security program, we willcontinue to live on borrowed time. The Department of Homeland Security tooka great step forward in recognizing the need for an Assistant Secretary incharge of cyber security and telecommunications, but the time for action islong overdue."

Cyber Security Industry Alliance

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