[ISN] Homeland Security CIO wants 'network of networks'

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Nov 08 2002 - 01:00:54 PST

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    Forwarded from: "eric wolbrom, CISSP" <ericat_private>
    By Loretta W. Prencipe 
    November 6, 2002 
    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Calling for help from the private sector, Steve
    Cooper, special assistant to the President and CIO in the White
    Houses' Office of Homeland Security, called for a "network of
    networks" of federal, state, and local governments and certain private
    sector industries to be developed as a national enterprise
    architecture (NEA).
    "What if we take existing networks at all levels of government and the
    private sector as appropriate and integrate them? The challenges are
    true standards and interoperability. We can solve those problems,"
    Cooper said at the Federal CTO Forum 2002 here.
    The day after the Republicans captured a mid-term majority in the
    House and Congress, Cooper stated that he is confident a Department of
    Homeland Security bill will be passed and that a national enterprise
    architecture could be a reality in two to three years.
    "The priorities that we have set are focused on the information
    sharing and systems arena. ... We need to get the right information to
    the right people all the time. This is what we're about in Homeland
    Security," he said.
    Citing the info sharing and systems integration models among various
    federal and local law enforcement bodies, Cooper called for the help
    of state and local governments and those companies that comprise the
    critical infrastructure, including utilities and transportation
    Cooper stated that state governments would have primary responsibility
    for intrastate; feds would handle interstate and backbone issues.
    But the question of sharing information among the federal government
    and private-sector companies continues to be a problem. "We have to
    get Congress on board and the private sector on board on how to
    connect to critical infrastructure," Cooper said.
    Emphasizing that the NEA is separate from the Defense Department (DoD)
    and from the Federal Enterprise Architecture championed by Norman
    Lorentz, CTO for the Office of Management and Budget, Cooper did say
    that the NEA "dovetails with FEA. The Homeland Security mission is
    part of the federal enterprise, but there are parts that are not. We
    also have had positive discussions with DoD to make sure that we're
    not building three stovepipe architectures."
    Confident that a bill establishing the Homeland Security Department
    will soon be passed, Cooper has already started addressing transition
    technology issues.
    "There are day one priorities," he said. "First is to ensure that we
    have e-mail capabilities across the department from day one. You want
    to create a brand and identity for the new entity. You use technology
    for this."
    Saying that establishing a "brand" is important to the identity of the
    Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Cooper is considering setting
    up a LDAP directory across the agencies that would comprise the DHS to
    decode and translate e-mail addresses and get e-mail inside DHS.
    "When send out [e-mail, it] will be @DHS. Eventually we would
    migrate," he said.
    Other transition priorities include setting up internal and external
    portal capabilities and conducting an inventory of the various
    organizations' IT portfolios, Cooper said. "A lot of the IT portfolios
    sit in the program areas. That's [a question of] turf, budget. Isn't
    Washington [supposed to be] a zero-sum game?"
    But Cooper is confident that such politics can be overcome.
    "What if the right parties that have a vested interest all sat down
    and agreed on some shared objectives? And agreed upon a fair amount of
    work and how to divvy it up? Rather than everyone trying to do similar
    [functions] with the best of intentions and often inadvertently."
    Despite not having any procurement capabilities, Cooper has had
    successful discussions with the DoD and intelligence agencies on new
    sharing of watch list information.
    "We have tackled the process and the ownership issues of these lists.
    We haven't built an electronic integrated system yet. We will do that
    once get the funding, optimistically in 2003. We have the processes
    eric wolbrom, CISSP			Safe Harbor Technologies
    President & CIO				190 Goldens Bridge Ct.
    Voice 914.767.9090 ext. 6000		Katonah, NY 10536
    Fax   914.767.3911				http://www.shtech.net
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