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Ashcroft: Cybercrime Is Everyone's Problem

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft's hawkish approach to the so-called war on terror was often lampooned by Democrats and, especially, President Obama and key members of his current administration. But when it comes to fighting cybercrime, both sides seem to be on the same page.

As eSecurity Planet details, Ashcroft is using his bully pulpit to advocate greater personal and corporate responsibility in the battle to protect critical information systems and is pleading for organizations to recognize that security isn't just an IT problem.

Ashcroft referenced the lessons learned in aftermath of three high-profile domestic attacks that were narrowly thwarted: the failed attempt by al Qaeda operative Richard Reid to blow up a commercial airliner in December 2001, a similar plot on Christmas Day 2009 and the failed Times Square car bombing May 1 of this year.

"Each of these attacks was primarily repelled by individuals whose focused responsibilities were outside the professional law enforcement community," Ashcroft said.

"Likewise, the protection of our enterprises and the protection of our country both are too important to reserve exclusively to law enforcement or information professionals alone the duty of protection, " he added.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Just as the intelligence and law-enforcement communities rely on tips from vigilant citizens, enterprises too must broaden their approach to information security, former Attorney General John Ashcroft said in a speech Monday morning.

Enterprises that relegate their security operations to a siloed department cordoned off from the rest of the organization do so at their own peril, Ashcroft warned an audience of IT security professionals here at the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit.

"Broad participation is necessary in defending our systems," Ashcroft said.

"Our defense must be a first-line priority and part of the entire entity's DNA. It can't be relegated to some unseen status or presided over solely by the department of information protection or a CIO, he added. "[The] CIO desperately needs the perspective and support -- the help of coworkers and the management team."

Read the full story at eSecurity Planet:
Ashcroft: Cybersecurity Takes a Village