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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Who Trumps bin Laden as a Cyberthreat? Look in the Mirror.

From the San Francisco RSA 2008 Conference: "It turns out al-Qaida's
leader and his cohorts aren't the biggest threat to our cybersecurity.
You are... Security gurus have long urged the business world to turn
network security into part of the corporate DNA. The message is not
fully getting through. And now we're seeing the predictable results.
In years past, [Symantec CEO John] Thompson and other computer security
executives have pushed the idea of making cyber-security as familiar
to most people as the fire prevention campaign underwritten by the
government in the 1960s and 1970s. Considering the amount of money
Uncle Sam is spending on cyber-security these days, that's a pipedream.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who also
presented a keynote on Tuesday, offered litte indication Washington
was about to ride to the rescue. In remarks during his prepared speech
and subsequent press conference, Chertoff offered a dutiful recitation
of what he described as the President's interest in shoring up the
nation's digital security. Give Chertoff credit for being candid about
where DHS has come up short. He said the government needs to reduce
its (literally) thousands of network access points to around 50. At
the same time, Chertoff wants his department to faster detect and
analyze computer anomalies. A big part of that will involve a revamp
of U.S. CERT's early warning system... In the end, however, money
talks and you-know-what walks. The feds only have a $115 million budget
to work with. Chertoff's department has requested $192 million for
the new fiscal year but that's still doing it on the cheap. By
comparison, we spend $720 million in Iraq each day [actually their own money, joke of the day,].

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