Question from "Ask the Secretary":
How involved is DHS in helping to combat the potential for a Cyberattack that could possibly take down power grids, communications, water systems or nuclear power plants?
William Johnson: Madame Secretary, my name is William Johnson. I'm a contracting officer for the Federal Law-Enforcement Training Center in Cheltenham, Maryland. I have the following question for you: How involved is DHS in helping to combat the potential for a Cyberattack that could possibly takedown power grids, communications and even poison water systems or cause a nuclear power plant to run out of control and meltdown?
Secretary Napolitano: We are highly involved in cyber security in a number of ways and it cuts across the Department: Secret Service, NPPD, ICE HSI to name but three components that have significant cyber activities underway. We basically lead the federal government's civilian response to cybersecurity. We're responsible for helping secure the civilian networks of the government -- we have a lot of programs underway in that regard. We're responsible for working with the intersection with the private sector that goes to that critical infrastructure your question describes. And we work very closely with the FBI and the NSA, among others, to make sure that we are linked up in a whole-of-government approach, not just how to respond to a cyber attack, but how to prevent, at the outset, how to detect if one is occurring, how to get information out as quickly as possible so we mitigate any damage.