Government Warns of Rising CyberSecurity Threats

February 9, 2007 at 8:02 am | Posted in Technical | Leave a comment

Greg Garcia, assistant secretary for cybersecurity and telecommunications at the Department for Homeland Security, gave a speech at the RSA Conference in San Francisco yesterday. His thoughts and observations were far from comforting. In fact, he pleaded with private corporations and organizations to work with the government to secure their networks and sign up for federal partnership efforts such as the Information Technology Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or IT-ISAC, Garcia said. Please join with your industry colleagues and with DHS,” he said. “I would wager that we would see dramatic and measurable improvements in our national defenses against cybercriminals and terrorists and hackers.”

Why is Garcia so worried? He pointed out a couple of fairly reasonable causes for concern:

1. We are increasingly reliant on IP communications; not just for data, but also voice and video traffic. “This proliferation of devices and applications within converged networks is going to create a breeding ground for security problems,” Garcia said.  

 

2. Security threats are on the rise. Figures from US-CERT are alarming; in the last quarter of 2006, they received nearly 20,000 incident reports, Garcia said. That compares with 23,000 for the entire 12-month period before that.

“Make no mistake–our networks and systems are vulnerable and they are exposed,” Garcia said. “Our adversaries are sophisticated, nimble and organized and they will stop at nothing to achieve their motives, which include economic gain, advantage, espionage, revenge and publicity.”

Such a comforting way to start your Friday…

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