Securing the Network: It Takes a Village
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been blogging about Smart Grid from a positive, green technology standpoint. But those of us in security know that it’s also rife with potential security risks. And recent events underscore that point. In April, The Wall Street Journal reported that spies from other countries had hacked into the grid, planting software that could have been used to disrupt service. While no such disruption occurred, the incident does point to the need for enhanced monitoring and control over such vital services. The Obama administration is not taking the possibility of cyber threats lightly. In fact, it has undertaken several initiatives to make cybersecurity a top priority. To begin with, they’ve committed to developing a comprehensive policy for the United States. This positions the White House to assume a leadership role in protecting the nation’s information infrastructure, and fosters global cooperation on cybercrime to ensure a safer networking environment.So far, the administration has completed a “60-Day Review” of the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure and has hired the first ever U.S. Chief Technology Officer. But perhaps more importantly, as Information Week reported a few weeks ago, the Obama administration has requested that more than $400 million be included in the federal budget to support cybersecurity initiatives, to protect critical infrastructure and IT networks from hackers.At Cisco, we’re seeing many signs that criminals are mimicking the practices embraced by successful, legitimate businesses to reap revenue and grow their enterprises. It seems the best practices espoused by Fortune magazine and Harvard Business School have found their way into the online underworld. And that’s why we security professionals need to come together. With this new security-focused blog we hope to spark lively discussion and thoughts about how we can all better manage the ever-evolving threat landscape. Please join the discussion — what are some of the challenges your organization is facing? What are some of the more unusual or covert threats you’ve noticed lately? The more we’re able to share and learn from each other, the better equipped we’ll be to secure the network.Look for our mid-year security report update coming out in a few weeks. You’ll find it at www.cisco.com/go/securityreport. In the meantime, I look forward to your comments.