[ISN] DHS center to focus on security research

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue May 20 2003 - 00:18:57 PDT

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    By Judi Hasson 
    May 19, 2003
    The Homeland Security Department is creating a clearinghouse to keep
    track of efforts by civilian and defense agencies, universities, and
    the private sector to develop new tools and techniques to fight
    The new center is just one way DHS is planning to harness
    cybersecurity research and resources, Charles McQueary, the new
    undersecretary for DHS' Science and Technology Directorate, told the
    House Science Committee May 14.
    "The existence of many hard and currently unsolved problems and the
    changing nature of the threat will require an ongoing research
    effort," McQueary said. President Bush has proposed $803 million for
    the directorate in 2004.
    The center will be designed to make the most efficient use of research
    and development (R&D) money and low-cost technology to prevent
    cyberterrorism, according to McQueary. It will partner with the
    National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards
    and Technology, two federal agencies that deal with R&D, as well as
    with academic institutions and private corporations.
    McQueary said the center would develop strategic programs to deal with
    "specific gaps in U.S. cybersecurity capabilities."
    "We see this as critical to coordinate the resources and efforts
    across the government R&D community to accelerate technical
    capabilities that address DHS priorities," he said.
    DHS spokesman David Wray said there is no date yet for the opening of
    the cybersecurity center. He called it "a new concept" that will work
    with other agencies and support the overall mission of DHS'
    Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate.
    Industry input is considered a top priority, according to Andy Purdy,
    the directorate's cybersecurity adviser.
    "The idea of trying to marshal limited federal resources is very
    important," he said. "It is important for the private sector to weigh
    in on this."
    Experts said the center is a good idea because the civilian side of
    cybersecurity research has long been neglected.
    "It would get a bigger bang out of the buck and maybe get more bucks,"  
    said Franklin Reeder, chairman of the Center for Internet Security.
    William Neugent, an author and chief engineer at Mitre Corp.'s
    Security and Information Operations, said the center could help
    researchers avoid duplicating one another's work.
    "It's a good way to just share ideas," he said. "It adds a little more
    work, and it's harder to do it across a broader, more diverse
    Asked during the committee hearing whether enough was being done to
    deal with the growing cybersecurity problem, McQueary and other
    witnesses said the United States is moving in the right direction but
    not fast enough.
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