[ISN] DHS: President's Cyber Initiative paying off

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2008 01:31:09 -0500 (CDT)

By William Jackson

Assistant Homeland Security Secretary Greg Garcia kicked off the fifth 
annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month by saying that the 
government's IT systems are safer this year than when he joined the 
department two years ago.

"They are more secure, and they are going to get more secure," he said 
Thursday at the launch event in Washington. "There is always more to 

Garcia cited a number of areas of progress, including implementation of 
elements of the president's Cyber Initiative, announced early this year. 
The initiative, much of which is classified, focuses on hardening 
government networks to provide a front line of defense, improving cyber 
intelligence through information gathering and sharing, and research and 
development of next-generation security tools. DHS has been given a lead 
role in protecting government systems.

"We have made notable progress in each of these areas," he said. But he 
added, "there is no room for complacency; there is no excuse for 

Combating complacency and ignorance is the goal of National Cyber 
Security Awareness Month, a joint program of the DHS National Cyber 
Security Division and the National Cyber Security Alliance, an 
organization of public, private and academic sector experts. Together 
they sponsor online and other activities geared at raising awareness 
among consumers and home users, as well as businesses.

Garcia cited some significant changes in the cyber environment since the 
first awareness month was declared in 2004. At that time a survey showed 
that one third of respondents thought there was a better chance of being 
struck by lightning than of being the victim of a hacker, and spam was 
the biggest online concern of corporations. Spam and lightning are still 
with us, but few computer users are unaware today of the threat posed by 
malicious code, hackers and online criminals.

"Cyber security has become a major concern," Garcia said. "The next step 
is to make it a major priority."


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Received on Thu Oct 02 2008 - 23:31:09 PDT

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