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DHS Chief: Security Requires Faster Response

Attendees at the RSA Conference in San Francisco received an impassioned plea by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to speed up their plans and, more important, take action now to thwart the unprecedented escalation of sophisticated cyber attacks on government and private sector networks in the past few years.

eSecurity Planet details some of the serious issues that Napolitano said DHS and its IT brethren are facing in this new digital minefield and what it needs from many of the companies and security experts attending this week's security conference to help win the war.

While Napolitano was quick to point out a handful of improvements already in place to stamp out malware, phishing attacks and identity theft, she said the government and its private-sector partners need to "leapfrog" forward to keep pace with the improving skills and tools used by malware purveyors.

At stake, she said, was nothing less than the country's national security and the U.S.'s ability to remain technologically and economically competitive in the global economy.

While the DHS has used information technology resources to streamline security development by coordinating efforts among agencies that were previously working in isolation, it and the rest of the government still have plenty of work ahead and little time to waste.

"We need to do more and do it faster," she said. While there is perhaps no ultimate technology solution to protect the country's digital infrastructure, Napolitano said her department wants to provide the ability to "bounce back" from an attack of any size, which would require more sophisticated failover and disaster recovery technology than is currently available.

"We have to get to a level of performance that maintains a safe and secure ecosystem -- an IT ecosystem that offers automation to security so we can act at Internet speed while ensuring privacy and enhanced authentication," she said.

Read the full story at eSecurity Planet:
Homeland Security Chief Details Cyber Threats