Cyber Defence will be the same for Military and Civil environment ?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that potential cyber attacks poses a “huge” future threat that should be tackled through joint efforts by military and civilian agencies.

“There is a huge future threat and there is a considerable current threat (from cyber attacks),” Gates said during a question-and-answer session at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council.

He said the Pentagon had bolstered security for the military’s networks and hoped to do the same for defense industry contractors.
“We are working with our partners in the defense industrial base to bring them under that umbrella, to provide them with protection,” he said

The challenge for cyber security efforts inside the United States is that resources and expertise are concentrated in the military and the National Security Agency (NSA), which raises thorny legal questions about civil liberties. “The only defense the United States has … against nation states and other potential threats in the cyber world is the National Security Agency,” but “You cannot replicate the National Security Agency for domestic affairs. There isn’t enough money, there isn’t enough time, and there isn’t enough human talent.” he said.

The challenge is on “how to offer the government’s domestic side access to NSA” and also “taking into account concerns for privacy and civil liberties?”.

With this issue in mind, President Barack Obama recently approved a memorandum of understanding based on recommendations from Secretary Gates and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The MOU creates a Homeland Security Department cell within NSA with the authority to assign tasks to the NSA to safeguard domestic networks, but using its own attorneys to ensure privacy and civil liberties are kept at the forefront.

The arrangement would hopefully provide better security for both military and civilian networks, Secretary Gates said.

Civil liberties groups have voiced concern over the role of the NSA in cyber security efforts inside the United States, saying privacy rights could be jeopardized.

Source : US Air Force & AFP

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