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Richard Steinnon: DHS Not Using Right Tools for Cyber War

Richard Steinnon: DHS Not Using Right Tools for Cyber War - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Richard Steinnon: DHS Not Using Right Tools for Cyber War - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Richard Steinnon

The Department of Homeland Security is not employing the right tools for cyber warfare, writes Richard Steinnon, author of Surviving Cyberwar.

Citing the recent hearing in which the inspector general of DHS gave testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Steinnon writes that the problem with U.S.-CERT is not the staffing shortages or the leadership turnovers but rather its “impossible mission.”

“There appears to be some belief within DHS and the inspector general’s office that the secret Einstein project is somehow going to improve cyber security,” he writes. “Pointing fingers at slow deployment and lack of information dissemination is ignoring a more fundamental problem.”

The Einstein program is not an effective tool for cybersecurity, according to Steinnon. The technology was developed approximately 15 years ago and is signature-based, relying on database collections of code and text.

“The only tool in DHS’s chest is a monitoring tool,” Steinnon writes. “Millions of alerts have to be filtered down. The continuous port scans, the worm traffic, the DDoS attacks, have to be winnowed down to something actionable.”

The deployment of the Einstein program is ineffective and should be halted, he writes.

“Einstein is a waste of money and a distraction,” Steinnon writes. “Other than generating huge reports that highlight the levels of attacks targeting DHS it will do nothing to protect DHS networks. There have been a lot of advances in network security technology since 2003.  It is time for DHS to get serious about security.”

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