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Gov Info Sharing

Gov Info Sharing - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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Gov Info Sharing - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Public-private partnerships are often the cornerstone of influential legislation. With a new bill about cybersecurity going through both houses, public-private partnerships will  be extended between intelligence agencies and the private sector. Historically, such partnerships have caused major issues and public outrage such as the AT&T involvement with warrantless surveillance. But this new legislation hopes to change the stereotypes and forge partnerships that will help U.S. cybersecurity plans.

If passed, the legislation will enhance the collaboration between U.S. Intelligence agencies and the private sector. The White House will be required to designate certain technology systems critical. Once this step is made, if a U.S. intelligence official receives information on a threat then a top level private sector official with a secret clearance would be provided with enough information to defend or mitigate against the attack.

In the debate of cybersecurity issues in America, threat to critical infrastructure has become an issue of importance. More than 85% of the infrastructure deemed critical is privately owned. One particular area of concern is the large areas of the electrical grid that could easily be attacked through documented vulnerabilities. Also the electrical grid is becoming increasingly shared over multiple technology lines. As illustrated by the cyber war ever, Cyber Shockwave, a cyber attack can easily wipe out the electrical grid for the whole eastern seaboard and is not a fictitious threat.

Taking the actions of the bill a step further, the Department of Homeland Security has created a new pilot program to enhance information sharing between DHS officials and private CIO’s and CSO’s using the data fusion centers established in 2003. “Through the program, underway now, CIOs and CSOs from state and local governments as well as private-sector organizations that partner with the federal government will periodically be allowed to read classified e-mails from fusion centers regarding cyber threats,” said Amy Kudwa, a DHS spokeswoman. CIO’s and CSO’s taking part in the program may also attend cybersecurity briefings and discussions that happen quarterly through DHS. Although the program seems to be a success, they have not yet decided if this pilot program will become the actual program and no deadline for that decision has been made.

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