A few months back, I wrote a piece around the new cybersecurity legislation circulating in Congress. Since then, there hasn’t been much movement that would cause me to follow up on that post on Federal Blue Print…until now. When I opened the Wall Street Journal recently, I saw an opinion piece that was written by our very own President.
It wasn’t a piece about the current campaign or the latest in healthcare reform — the President is making cybersecurity a priority.
President Obama leveraged his piece to urge lawmakers to consider the growing reality of cyber attacks that should cripple critical infrastructure such as water, electricity or transportation systems. He wants Congress to pass the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.
If cybersecurity efforts do not shore up, the President knows that impact. In the op-ed he writes, “Last month I convened an emergency meeting of my cabinet and top homeland security, intelligence and defense officials. Across the country trains had derailed, including one carrying industrial chemicals that exploded into a toxic cloud. Water treatment plants in several states had shut down, contaminating drinking water and causing Americans to fall ill.”
It wasn’t a real attack. Luckily it was just a simulation to test how well the private and public sector could work together in a crisis. But it was “sobering” to see the impact.
The piece in the Wall Street Journal ran prior to the Black Hat 2012 conference where the best of the best in the information security community come together to address the latest research and efforts from the industry. The timing was right. Both industry and government needs to come together to ensure that we can protect our nation against malicious attacks.
As the President notes, without information sharing between the public and private sector, we will fail in this effort. “We need to make it easier for the government to share threat information so critical-infrastructure companies are better prepared. We need to make it easier for these companies—with reasonable liability protection—to share data and information with government when they’re attacked. And we need to make it easier for government, if asked, to help these companies prevent and recover from attacks.”
We need to work together – it’s the simple fact. And we applaud the Administration for making cybersecurity a priority.