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Nation's critical infrastructure cyber defenses weak, DHS tells hearing

John P. Mello | May 20, 2013
Experts criticize government's threat sharing, noting it wants the private sector to be generous but it's stingy with the private sector

To obtain better and faster threat information banks and energy companies have formed their own alliances to share information. "They'll share IP addresses, domain names and file names that allow them to detect ongoing campaigns within hours of noticing them," Shook said.

"They're forming alliances to share information that they can't get from government," he added.

A major criticism of the government's handling of threat information has been that it considers sharing a one-way street: it wants the private sector to be generous with what it gives the government, but stingy with what it gives the private sector.

"That has been very, very true for a long time," Phyllis Schneck, vice president and global public sector chief technology officer for McAfee, said in an interview. "But I've seen that change drastically over the past two years."

"The government is beginning to understand that to engage industry, you can't just ask for something and never be heard from again," she said.

Going forward, trust will play an important role in information sharing, said Bit9 CTO Harry Sverdlove. "It requires trust on both parts  on the government to disclose information as expediently and consistently as possible," he said in an interview, "as well as trust on private companies receiving information to share some of their intelligence with the federal government."

 

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