President Obama’s top counter terrorism adviser, John Brennan, recently said on NBC’s Meet the Press, that the US faces serious threats in cyberspace. “The threats and the vulnerabilities within the cyber domain are serious and significant,” he said.
Brennan did not name a specific country (or countries) as being responsible for the threat. President Obama has made cyber security a central issue that his administration is looking to tackle. Back in May 2009, Melissa Hathaway revealed the 60 Day Cyber Security Review, which called for the creation of a cyber security coordinator at the White House. In December, Obama named Howard Schmidt to the post.
“We’re looking at these issues from the standpoint of espionage from governments, from different individuals, whether they be hackers or terrorist organizations,” said Brennan. “The opportunities to create problems within the cyber sphere are significant and this government is taking steps.”
Another central issue in cyber security, particularly for the US, is that the majority of the critical infrastructure is in the hands of the private sector. “It’s a very complex and complicated challenge, but we are working very closely with the private sector. We’re working very closely with the different instruments of government as well as our foreign partners,” he said.
Brennan ended by discussing the shared responsibility for cyber security.
“National security is something that is at risk, and that’s why what we’re trying to do is to ensure that our networks, our government networks, our private sector networks, have the ability to withstand these attempts to hack in and to conduct activities, whether it’s stealing intellectual property rights or whether it’s trying to steal government secrets, or whether it’s trying to cause problems or steal one’s identity. And that’s why this is a shared responsibility–government, private individuals and private sector,” Brennan said.