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Enabling Distributed Security in Cyberspace

Cybersecurity is of critical importance to securing our nation, which is why it’s one of the top five mission areas for Homeland Security. As part of a broad, government-wide cybersecurity initiative, DHS leads the national effort to secure federal civilian agency and critical infrastructure systems and networks.

In the here and now, we face significant risks, not just to our computers but also to the essential services on which our society depends. That’s why DHS analysts and systems work around the clock with federal, state, and local government, as well as private sector partners to prevent, detect, and respond to a broad array of ever-evolving cyber threats.

But we cannot let these urgent threats lead us to lose sight of the bigger picture. In addition to the critical operational activity we are engaged in on a daily basis, DHS has a responsibility to help create a fundamentally safer and more secure cyber environment in the long term.

Today I am sharing with you a vision for such an environment. We are releasing a white paper, “Enabling Distributed Security in Cyberspace”, which explores technical options for creating a safer, more secure and resilient network of networks. Specifically, the paper looks at how prevention and defense can be enhanced through three security building blocks: automation, interoperability, and authentication. If these building blocks were incorporated into cyber devices and processes, cyber stakeholders would have significantly stronger means to identify and respond to threats—creating and exchanging trusted information and coordinating courses of action in near real time.

The white paper reflects the substantive contributions of thirteen federal agencies that gathered at a federal workshop in Washington last year.  The white paper is intended to stimulate thought and discussion. DHS intends to leverage the expertise of representatives from industry, academia and other government agencies as we work to understand cyber threats and manage risk in cyberspace.

I also welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Together, we can do more to keep America safe, secure, and resilient in cyberspace. I look forward to receiving your input.

Philip Reitinger
Deputy Under Secretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate

You can e-mail comments on this white paper to cyberfeedback@dhs.gov.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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