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Cyberthreats a top priority for Homeland Security

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Thursday, September 19, 2013

Being able to address cyberthreats efficiently is fast becoming a top priority for the government as the Department of Homeland Security undergoes its ten year review.

Threats to national security can come in many different forms. Physical attacks have received a lot of publicity as of late, while infosecurity breaches are growing more common as the recent shutdown of the New York Times website would indicate. Cybersecurity is fast becoming one of the strongest issues facing the country, with many former and current government officials expecting that one of the next big threat to the country will come from cyberspace.

Homeland security undergoes review
This is one of the sentiments that has been gathered from the Department of Homeland Security's ten year review. The department was first created two years after the September 11th terrorist attacks, and has since attempted to protect the country by bringing together various departments responsible for the nation's welfare. During its ten year review, one of the main issues that rose to the surface was the growing threat of cyberattack.

Computer World looked at some of the testimonies from the review which all seemed to iterate a consistent message. For example, the former DHS secretary, Thomas Ridge, expects that a "Cyber Pearl Harbor" is on the horizon, as others stress that better policy and action need to take hold in order to make the country's critical infrastructure more resilient to attacks.

Many feel that the country's electric grid is particularly subject to attack as it has been relatively slow to make improvements in line with the digital age. With more companies and organizations moving online, the need for security technology that can keep up with these advancements is becoming increasingly necessary to prevent and mitigate the damage that such an attack could cause.

Government action
There have been a number of steps taken by the federal government in order to help address these various issues. Gov Info Security explains that legislation such as the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 has sought to help improve measures and protect the country's critical infrastructure. However, the news source adds that a White House source anticipates action being taken by a number of independent committees will supplement this act.

Other organizations, such as the North American Electric Reliability Corporation are providing guidelines that also work to protect critical infrastructure. Due to the alleged imminence of these possible attacks, implementing such solutions is becoming essential for utilities to increase their resiliency to such threats. SUBNET is helping many companies create workable cybersecurity solutions using smart grid technology in compliance with the NERC CIP requirements so that they can be well equipped to fend off intrusions without having to make massive changes to their infrastructure.

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