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2/17/2004
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Security Watch: The Time For Action Is Now


Amit Yoran

Amit Yoran
The days of planning for how to secure cyberspace are largely over and the time for action is now, says Amit Yoran, the newly appointed director of the National Cyber Security Division at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The division recently organized three forums to facilitate IT security cooperation among federal agencies and better prepare the national infrastructure to withstand attacks ranging from viruses and worms to potential cyberterror assaults. The National Cyber Alert System, which launched the same week as the fast-moving MyDoom worm struck the Internet, has proved to be a success so far, Yoran says. The www.uscert.gov Web site received more than 1 million hits on Jan. 28, its first day, and more than 250,000 subscribers signed up in the first week to receive E-mail alerts warning about new attacks and software vulnerabilities.

In coming weeks, the cybersecurity division will unveil a series of public- and private-partnership programs to improve cooperation, security coordination, and information exchange. "Many of the [chief information security officers] I've spoken with are frustrated with the quality of the information they're getting from the federal government," Yoran says. "But they're also frustrated with the quality of information they're getting from one another." He says he's confident that will soon change for the better. Read the full interview with Yoran.

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