Obama Administration to Inherit Tough Cybersecurity Challenges
ACM TechNews remarks on the status of the initiatives launched in the current administration and what U.S. President-elect Barack Obama will need to take on to improve cybersecurity. Many of the current initiatives are still works in progress, including the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12) which aspires to improve the security of government facilities and computer networks by requiring federal agencies to issue new smart card identity credentials to all employees and contractors by the end of October. Meeting that goal is at least two years away however.
The need is critical for the Obama administration to stop tying federal cybersecurity responses so closely to the post-9/11 war against terror, says analyst at Gartner Inc., John Pescatore.
"The terrorist attacks of 2001 sent the Bush administration in the wrong direction" on the cybersecurity front, Pescatore said. There's been too much of tendency to view cyberthreats in the same light as physical terrorism threats and to respond to them in the same manner. In the process, some of the more immediate threats to government data and networks have been somewhat overlooked, he said.
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