Wednesday, April 22, 2009

RSA 2009: Why the Top U.S. Cyber Official is Losing Sleep

Bill Brenner writes on

The United States' top cybersecurity official already knew the world's digital infrastructure needed help before she took on a 60-day cyberspace policy review. With the review now complete, she admits the gravity of the situation seeps into her dreams and disturbs her sleep.

"I worry about [questions surrounding cyber security] every night; they infiltrate my dreams," Melissa Hathaway, acting senior director for cyberspace for the National Security and Homeland Security Councils, said in a keynote speech at the RSA Conference Wednesday. "I often wake up at 2:30 or 4:30 in the morning having worked the problem in my sleep, and sometimes even develop a good idea."

President Obama tapped Hathaway, a Bush administration official who helped develop a multi-billion-dollar classified initiative to better secure federal systems and critical-infrastructure networks against online threats, to lead a 60-day review of the government's cybersecurity efforts in February.

She acknowledged what everyone attending RSA already knew: The nation's digital infrastructure -- the world's, for that matter -- is full of security holes that leave us vulnerable to those who would steal personal data for financial gain or to compromise national security.

More here.


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