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Cyber-Security Group Pushes 12-Point Plan On White House

A policy and advocacy group called on the Bush administration Tuesday to put more muscle behind cyber-security, and urged the White House to act on a dozen proposals and recommendations to protect the country's technology infrastructure.

The Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA), which was founded in February 2004, by big name security firms such as Symantec, McAfee, RSA Security, Check Point, and Internet Security Systems, laid out a 12-point action list that included following up on industry and Congressional recommendations to appoint an Assistant Secretary-level position to oversea cyber-security, planning for a possible major disruption of the Internet, and sharing more threat information and analysis between government and the private sector.

"There's certainly a great deal of activity going on today with government understanding threats against physical infrastructure," said Paul Kurtz, the executive director of the CSIA, and one of the developers of the President's National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. "I can understand why there's a bias toward the attack on a chemical or nuclear facility could cause casualties immediately...but I don't think we should be flying blind on the cyber-security."

The Bush Administration, said Kurtz, should be credited for taking steps to protect the country's technology, but "there is still more that must be done to harden our economy and critical infrastructure against potential cyber attacks.

Among the CSIA's recommendations are that an Assistant Secretary position be created in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to manage all aspects of the country's cyber-defense. The call for an Assistant Secretary -- who would be but two steps below the head of the DHS -- has been made previously, both before and after the abrupt October resignation of Amit Yoran, the DHS' cyber-security chief.

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