http://www.washtech.com/news/govtit/13902-1.html By Ellen McCarthy, Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, November 28, 2001; 8:54 PM The White House's request for suggestions from the technology industry on how to make internal government communication networks more secure provoked an outpouring of responses in the past two months. One hundred sixty-seven telecom, information technology and software companies responded to the General Services Administration's inquiry about whether it would be possible and practical to build secure internal networks for government agencies. Research into the question began six months ago and escalated after a proposal by the president's cyberspace security adviser, Richard Clarke, after the Sept. 11 attacks. The results are now being analyzed for a report to be delivered to the White House in February. The GSA asked for technical assessments, costs, estimated schedules and design ideas for highly secure voice and data networks that do not rely on the Internet. Much of the communication between agency offices would still be done through the Internet, said a White House spokesman. The internal system, called GovNet, would be used to transfer sensitive documents on separate, government-owned fiber-optic cables or an alternate communication system that would be less susceptible to attacks. Clarke said in a statement that as virus "attacks become more common and sophisticated, prudent risk management requires that we look at all the alternatives." "Encryption is not enough. I am also concerned with minimizing service outages caused by [virus] attacks." WorldCom Inc., one of the companies that submitted proposals for the project, suggested several systems that range in price and security features. "We feel there are a number of ways to address this problem," said WorldCom spokeswoman Natasha Haubold. "So our proposal included everything from a completely separate network to one [that] shares some network infrastructure, but would have enhanced security features." Representatives from 16 government agencies will review the industry suggestions and file a report to the security adviser and the White House. The Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, a clearinghouse for reports about viruses and other security problems on the Internet, also will review the submissions and submit an independent report. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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