By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
July 28, 2010
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent its highest-ranking
official ever to speak at the Black Hat conference this week, and its
Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute ended up fielding a few tough questions
from skeptical computer security professionals in attendance.
During a question-and-answer session at the end of her Wednesday keynote
address, one attendee asked if we should expect the DHS to give
cybersecurity the same kind of treatment it's given air travel with the
Transportation Security Administration. "Why should we believe that DHS,
going forward, is going to protect cyber in something other than the
same way?" he asked, scoring the loudest applause of the session with
the question. "Now as the TSA slows down the air travel, DHS will slow
down the commerce."
The undersecretary disagreed with this characterization of the TSA, but
conceded that there is a "tension" in the DHS' mission. "We want to keep
out people who might be dangerous, but we want to expedite legitimate
trade and travel."
"We happen to believe that we can achieve our security, we can protect
our rights, we can protect commerce and lawful interchange," she said.
"We can have all of these things, but we need to engage in a debate
about how we will prioritize and how we will strike the balance."
Attend Black Hat USA 2010, hosted at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada
July 24-29th, offering over 60 training sessions and 11 tracks of Briefings
from security industry elite. To sign up visit http://www.blackhat.com