By Jason Miller
July 2, 2007
The White Houses Homeland Security Council has raised its awareness of
the importance of cybersecurity and the best definition of the federal
governments role, said a senior administration official.
Thomas Bossert, a senior director for preparedness policy on the
council, said there needs to be more coordination from the federal
There is a real focus on cybersecurity from the White House Council, he
said after a speech at the Network Centric Homeland Security conference
sponsored in Washington by IDGA. There is possible guidance coming from
the presidential level later this year.
Bossert added that information technology security is one of Frances
Townsend's top priorities. Townsend heads the council.
We are aware of a lot of different activities, and the guidance may
provide who does what and when, said Bossert, who added that no guidance
was imminent and discussions are just in the early stages.
The council will also try to improve the coordination of federally
funded Fusion Centers nationwide. The White House is working with the
FBI and the Homeland Security Department to form a regional architecture
to share information more easily.
Bossert said 42 states have or plan to establish Fusion Centers, and DHS
has issued more than $380 million in grants to do so.
We want them to develop common operating procedures, he said.
The Information Sharing Environment in the Office of the National
Director of Intelligence also is working on common operating procedures
for information sharing.
Bossert said in May the Intelligence Threat Assessment Coordination
Group, which includes federal, state and local officials, agreed on a
formal standard for how to better share information.
DHS used to have its own way of sending out information, and the FBI
did, too, he said. Now we have a coordinated way to send out threat
assessment information. This is a very important milestone. This will be
a standard message from the federal government.
Bossert said the goal is for the state and local first responders to
know what the federal first responders know in real time. If that
happens, he said, everyone will be better prepared to recognize and deal
with possible threats.
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