Speedier networks and ever-increasing amounts of data have underscored the need for more storage – and for a better way to manage and analyze the cyber security data that agencies collect.
As agencies move to faster networks such as 10 gigabits per second speeds and embrace mobile and cloud technology, it becomes a challenge to not only secure their networks, but also to collect the right cyber data, store it, analyze it, and use it to improve their risk posture, said Lee Vorthman, Cyber Practice Lead, NetApp U.S. Public Sector. "At the end of the day, it has to mean something to decision makers."
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is sifting through close to 250 public comments as it begins to craft a cyber security framework designed to help protect the nation's critical infrastructure.
At the end of February, NIST released a request for information asking industry and other stakeholders for input on how they manage cyber security risk, what international standards they use, and what methods and technologies they have in place to protect their systems.
The Federal government should tackle information sharing as a top cyber security priority this year.
That’s the view of John Jolly, vice president and general manager of the cyber systems division of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. Jolly, whose division focuses on network defense and digital forensics among other areas, said he believes in getting the word out on threats. Coordinated attacks may span an entire industrial sector or multiple sectors, as was the case with the recent attacks on South Korea’s broadcasting and banking industries. Organizations that keep each other informed stand a better chance of protecting themselves.
Since its launch last year, the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Network Resilience Division has become a focal point for the government's continuous monitoring efforts.
The Federal Network Resilience Division, or FNR, operates alongside the four other divisions of DHS' Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C). Those divisions are charged with boosting the security, resilience and reliability of the country's information technology and communications infrastructure. FNR's specific role is to carry out functions that the Federal Network Security Branch previously performed. The division also takes on new projects associated with the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program, which aims to improve the security of ".gov" internally managed networks.
Cybersecurity has gained a higher Federal profile in recent years with the recognition that the nation must deal with not just physical threats, but technology-based attacks.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) can attest to the increased interest. The office's IT security personnel assess the security posture of government information systems and privately operated critical infrastructure. One of GAO's most difficult tasks is simply staying on top of its workload of cybersecurity and privacy-related audits and studies – the agency juggles more than a dozen security audits at a time. Most of those engagements are either statutorily mandated or requested by members of Congress.
Bill Hickox, chief operating officer with Delaware Department of Technology & Information, initially balked at the idea of state employees using their own smartphones at work.
Indeed, protecting data access from, and stored on, mobile devices tends to be a key concern for IT managers evaluating the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach. A Gartner Inc. survey, published in June, identified the "use of privately owned devices" and "deployment of new enterprise mobile platforms" as the top BYOD-related security issues among organizations with more than 500 employees.
Factory control systems need to be protected from vulnerabilities that may arise as a result of their increased connectivity and use of widespread information technology. Scalable, multi-level cybersecurity is essential to realize the full potential of knowledge-based smart manufacturing, but the safety-critical and time-sensitive requirements of smart manufacturing control systems make deployment difficult. This project provides the measurement science necessary to develop standards for securing smart manufacturing control systems against cyber attack, and specifies the test methods and metrics to validate that standards have been correctly implemented.
In July 2011, the Pentagon released an unprecedented cybersecurity strategy that formally branded cyberspace as a domain of warfare, akin to land, sea, air and space. But, instead of outlining offensive measures, the framework focuses on how to deter the enemy from ever attempting an attack. As part of this plan, the military is employing "active cyber defense" - an amalgamation of sensors, software and intelligence reports aimed at instantly blocking malicious activity.