Cyber Security Industry Alliance Newsletter • Volume 1, Number 11 • July/August 2005

Executive Director’s Message

The Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security and Telecommunications:
Renewed Leadership from DHS

Welcome to the July/August issue of CSIA’s newsletter.

CSIA would like to commend Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for their decision to create an Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security and Telecommunications. Secretary Chertoff made the announcement on July 13, when he unveiled his plans to reorganize the Department of Homeland Security. This announcement came only a week before CSIA released two documents, one focused on the need for increased R&D efforts, and the other highlighting the lack of leadership and coordination of cyber education for the K-12 population. The creation of the Assistant Secretary position is timely, as both CSIA documents ask for coordination and guidance from DHS. Secretary Chertoff and DHS have already begun to exercise leadership and vision by creating this position, and CSIA congratulates them for their actions. CSIA would also like to commend Congress, especially the House Committee on Homeland Security, for its continued attention to cyber security issues and the role it has played in helping to reach this important milestone.

Creation of the Assistant Secretary position should bring tremendous benefits to the cyber security industry, as it provides the opportunity for the type of leadership that CSIA and members of the industry have called for: leadership with both the resources and authority to effectively direct public-private efforts to harden our nation’s IT and communications infrastructure against cyber attacks. This new position is by no means a panacea, but it is certainly a significant first step in raising the level of importance of cyber security nationally. It creates the foundation needed to move forward with the execution of a comprehensive approach to cyber security that builds on public and private sector efforts to date.

We will look to this new Assistant Secretary for guidance in a number of areas, including R&D efforts and K-12 cyber awareness initiatives, both of which are featured in this month’s newsletter. Also in this month’s newsletter, we hear from Congressman Bart Gordon of Tennessee, Ranking Member on the House Committee on Science, who provides his insight into long-term research as a key method to securing cyberspace. CSIA’s featured member firm, Check Point, discusses VoIP and security considerations to protect a company’s investment in VoIP technology. And finally, CSIA recounts our second successful Common Criteria Users Forum, which was held earlier in July in Washington, DC.

July proved to be a month full of activity, particularly with the announcement of the Assistant Secretary position, while August will provide much-needed downtime for Congress as it eases into recess. CSIA will not produce an August newsletter, but in the meantime, we will prepare for an active Fall season, which includes: the return of Congress; activities and events for National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October; a focus on European initiatives; and of course, providing support to the new Assistant Secretary and what will likely be a very ambitious agenda.

Look for our next newsletter in September. CSIA wishes everyone a very safe and happy August!