White House, Congress Flunk On Cybersecurity, Group Says - InformationWeek

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03:10 PM

White House, Congress Flunk On Cybersecurity, Group Says

The Cyber Security Industry Alliance, which includes big-name security companies such as Symantec, McAfee, and RSA, blasted the government's progress in keeping the United States safe from cyberattacks.

The administration and the federal government got a failing grade in securing the nation's information infrastructure from a security trade association -- with most of the blame falling at the feet of the Department of Homeland Security.

The Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA), a group that includes big name security firms such as Symantec, McAfee, RSA Security, Check Point, and Internet Security Systems on its member rolls, blasted the government's progress in keeping the U.S. safe from cyber attacks.

"We lack leadership," said Paul Kurtz, the executive director of the CSIA, "and because of that, there's been a lack of progress."

The group's self-styled "National Agenda for Information Security in 2006" is a response to President Bush's "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," which was touted in December 2003.

"Since then, we've really been on a downward slope," said Kurtz. "There are some places where we see some limited progress, but the overall strategic level of leadership -- someone who is there full time, all the time making sure programs are in place and properly funded -- that's what's lacking."

The poor performance was reflected in the CSIA's report card on the 12 items from 2005 that it had recommended to the Bush administration and Congress. Seven of the 12 returned with failing grades of "D" or below, with only one "B" and four "C" grades.

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