Why Are There Still So Many Problems with The Federal Cybersecurity Effort?

Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt admits that some basic safeguards and efforts are long overdue

On May 29th of 2009, President Obama declared: "It's now clear that this cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation." At FOSE this year, FBI Deputy Assistant Director, Stephen Chabinsky gave this ominous statement, "Cybercrime and cyber terrorism could be a game changer and thus represent an existential threat to our nation." With such strong words, you'd think that the Feds would have their act together on all things cybersecurity. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong. Speaking at the Interagency Resource Management Conference this week, Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt reinforced this bad news. Schmidt's wake up call pointed to the fact that the Federal government: 1. Is way behind on intrusion detection. Schmidt stated, “as far as enterprisewide intrusion detection goes, it falls under the category of, ‘Why haven’t we done that already?'" 2. Has not put its money where its mouth is. The federal government hasn't done enough to fund cybersecurity training programs or scholarships. 3. Cybersecurity efforts across federal agencies remain uncoordinated. If you aren't scared and angry right now, you should be. Since 2001, the Federal government has spent billions of dollars on cybersecurity yet these basic problems remain. Heck, we've spent hundreds of millions on the Einstein project, an uber network security monitoring technology effort, yet we aren't doing basic intrusion detection. Ay, ay, ay! Schmidt, a security veteran is clearly frustrated by what he is finding. The rest of us should be outraged. Let's hope that the President, Congress, DHS, DOD, and NSA can get its act together and fix these problems under Schmidt's capable leadership. If not, we may be in serious trouble.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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