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Private Sector Key to Homeland Cybersecurity

Preventing serious attacks on the infrastructure will require buy-in from the marketplace.

The public/private partnership that influences many government efforts is a core effort as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) strives to protect the homeland from cyber attacks. Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the DHS, told the audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, that the department has several efforts underway to engage the private sector in the fight against cyber attacks.

The DHS works every day to make this public/private partnership effective, she emphasized. The department’s whole-of-nation approach entails bringing in private sector partners. This includes a strong focus on ensuring that privacy laws and civil liberties are maintained from the start, she said.

Above all, the private sector must take the lead in some endeavors. “We need improved cyber hygiene,” Spaulding declared, adding that it could stop up to 90 percent of attacks. “We need to impress upon the market the improved capabilities of cyberthreats.”