Dennis Blair: Critical Infrastructure is Severely Threatened

Yesterday, in testimony on the Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, DNI Dennis Blair discussed the issue of threats from cyberspace in the beginning of his testimony.

Blair said neither the public or private sector can protect U.S. critical infrastructure alone.

“I am here today to stress that, acting independently, neither the U.S. government nor the private sector can fully control or protect the country’s information infrastructure,” Blair said. “Yet, with increased national attention and investment in cyber security initiatives, I am confident the United States can implement measures to mitigate this negative situation.”

Blair also highlighted the variety and disparate nature of the threats facing the United States.

“The United States confronts a dangerous combination of known and unknown vulnerabilities, strong and rapidly expanding adversary capabilities, and a lack of comprehensive threat awareness,” he said.

He also questioned the viability of resiliency, or operating while under attack. Blair said the United States “cannot be certain that our cyberspace infrastructure will remain available and reliable during a time of crisis.”

Blair announced the creation of an intelligence team to develop and implement a defensive cyber strategy will be “effective and respectful of American freedoms and values.”

Finally, Blair called for Congress to provide full funding for the cybersecurity initiatives, such as CNCI, to ensure the United States will be able to effectively combat cyber attacks.

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