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Homeland Security

Fact Sheet: Preventing and Defending Against Cyber Attacks

Release Date: 
October 18, 2011

Executive Summary

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for helping Federal Executive Branch civilian departments and agencies secure their unclassified networks (.gov). DHS also works with owners and operators of critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR)—whether private sector, state, or municipality-owned—to bolster their cybersecurity preparedness, risk assessment and mitigation, and incident response capabilities.

The activities under way to implement the recommendations of the Cyberspace Policy Review build on the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) launched by President George W. Bush in National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 (NSPD-54/ HSPD-23) in January 2008. President Obama determined that the CNCI and its associated activities should evolve to become key elements of a broader, updated national U.S. cybersecurity strategy. These CNCI initiatives will play a key role in supporting the achievement of many of the key recommendations of President Obama’s Cyberspace Policy Review.

DHS has made significant strides to enhance the security of the nation’s critical physical infrastructure as well as its cyber infrastructure and networks. Current tools include the National Cybersecurity Protection System, of which the EINSTEIN cyber intrusion detection system is a key component; the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, which serves as the nation’s principal hub for organizing cyber response efforts; and a 2010 landmark agreement between DHS and the Department of Defense to align and enhance America’s capabilities to protect against threats to critical civilian and military computer systems and networks.

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Read the full Preventing and Defending Against Cyber Attacks (PDF, 6 pages - 45 KB)

Review Date: 
October 18, 2011
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