• United States



Ridge’s Successor Can Beef Up Public-Private Ties

Jan 01, 20052 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information SecurityIT Leadership

A CSO weighs in on what the new Secretary of Homeland Security can do to improve public-private partnership

After announcing his resignation Nov. 30, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge was asked if he has made gains in getting the private sector to take some of the infrastructure protection burden. “I think by engaging them on best practices in terms of securing

whether it’s a chemical facility, telecommunications site and the likeand taking advantage of their professional expertise as we go about setting standards for security, we have been very successful to date,” Ridge said.

CSO asked Lynn Mattice, director of corporate security and business intelligence at Boston Scientific and someone who has discussed public-private partnerships with Ridge, to evaluate these partnerships. We wanted to know whether Mattice thinks Ridge’s words are a prelude of security standards to come.

“Ridge is saying here that the government has used the sector security organizations like oil and gas and electrical to deal with those specific sectors, but they have not reached out to the broader security community yet,” Mattice says. “We proposed a domestic security advisory council, which Ridge accepted when he was head of the Office of Homeland Security before DHS was created [in 2002]. But, once the office was created, that subject was put on a back burner, and it is only just recently being reconsidered.

“His comments are most definitely a precursor to the indication that there will be more security regulations coming down the pike,” Mattice adds. “I think a domestic security advisory council is vital to creating the kind of flow of information necessary between government and industry and to ensure that industry is well represented. I’d make the ISACs [information sharing and analysis centers] part of this council and not a separate group of entities. What’ll happen is conflicting issues will arise and there’ll be deadlock. We know how ineffective Congress can be sometimes. We should learn from this and not create more opportunities for deadlock. There should be a flow of communication.”