http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,63303,00.asp Carolyn Duffy Marsan, Network World Monday, September 24, 2001 As the nation gets hit by the double-whammy of a war and a recession, the need to improve Internet security is more critical than ever, according to government and industry leaders speaking at a panel held Friday on Capitol Hill. Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah), a champion of high-tech causes, says the September 11 terrorist attacks plunged the United States into both a war and a recession. He says Internet security is required to protect precious information resources, such as the Federal Reserve Bank's Fedwire fund transfer system, from cyberterrorism. He says Internet security also is important in terms of improving productivity across the U.S. economy. "It is still vitally important that we pay attention to how well we are doing in Internet security," Bennett says. "Someone who wishes to could do us great damage." Terrorism on the Net Bennett says the U.S. has a leadership role to play in Internet security, much as it has a leadership role to play in protecting the world against terrorism. The U.S. war on terrorism will be fought over the Internet, economically, and diplomatically as much as it will be fought militarily, he predicts. "How vital it is that all systems of the economy work well, and that the Internet systems work well," he adds. Bill Conner, president and CEO of Internet security software vendor Entrust Technologies, concurs about the importance of protecting the Internet as a critical communications infrastructure. "There was a 911 call last week that I think went out to the Internet and to Internet security," Conner says, referring to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Conner says today's widely deployed technologies for Internet security--firewalls, virus scanning and secure socket layer transactions--aren't sufficient. Instead, he says Internet security must be enhanced to protect the content of communications as well as ensuring the identity of the people involved in the transaction. Safe Communication Specifically, Conner said an enhanced Internet security system would provide: * Identification of the parties at either end of the communication. * Entitlements to control the access users get to information. * Verification of transactions. * Privacy to ensure that sensitive information is protected. * Security management to administer security across applications and platforms. "These are the requirements in a post-911 era," Conner says. "Anything less than that can be compromised." Conner recommends the federal government do a better job of coordinating how it rolls out enhanced security services across its many agencies. And he urges Congress to increase the resources devoted to Internet security, pointing out that the Office of Management and Budget has only two and a half people dedicated to monitoring Internet security across the government. Regarding encryption, Conner urges Congress not to control the availability of encryption software or to build back doors into it. "If we try to legislate or regulate encryption, it will become a bullet used against us," Conner warns. Government Eyes Privacy, Security Daniel Chenok, branch chief for information policy and technology at the Office of Management and Budget, says security and privacy underpin all of the federal government's e-government initiatives. These initiatives are focused on reforming how the government does business with consumers, businesses, and other government agencies by taking advantage of the efficiencies of Internet communications. Regarding Internet security, Chenok says. "Clearly there has to be a partnership between government and the private sector." While Chenok offered no specifics, he says the federal government's Internet security strategy may change in light of the September 11 attacks. "Clearly, at very senior levels all of these issues are being reviewed and a number of decisions and actions on that will be taken," Chenok says. The Internet Security panel was sponsored by the Business Software Alliance, a public policy group that represents 18 software vendors including Entrust, IBM, Microsoft and Novell. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Sep 25 2001 - 04:06:57 PDT