GAO report targets critical infrastructure information sharing among private sector and DHS
| 05.18.2006 | 06:27:22 | Views: 2549 | ID:
May 18 '06: Government Computer News found Wednesday that a report released by the Government Accountability Office titled "DHS Should Take Steps to Encourage More Widespread Use of its Program to Protect and Share Critical Infrastructure Information," elucidates ways in which the Department of Homeland Security can use available information from private sector entities working in sensitive national infrastructure industries to protect those resources.
The report stems from the creation of the Critical Infrastructure Information Act, which "sought to encourage private companies to submit information about the critical infrastructure assets to DHS by creating special shields against the public release of the data," GCN reported.In the report, the GAO found some of the "key challenges" facing DHS were: why the government needed specific sensitive infrastructure information and how it would use that information; making sure the exchange of sensitive information was safe and effective - that it would find the right people; and the ways in which the shared information would benefit those who received it. "If DHS were able to surmount these challenges," the report said, "it and other government users may begin to overcome the lack of trust that critical infrastructure owners have in the government's ability to use and protect their sensitive information." According to the Bush administration's Office of Science and Technology, the increasingly "wired" United States make it necessary to ask whether "the marketplace will adequately anticipate and mitigate reliability deficiencies, or whether the nation will have to endure a major infrastructure problem in order to mobilize and act," an OSTP report read. For it's part, the Bush administration acted in 2003 to sign the Homeland Security Presidential Directive/Hspd-7 which established "a national policy for Federal departments and agencies to identify and prioritize United States critical infrastructure and key resources and to protect then from terrorist attacks." In the GAO report DHS was found to have "received 260 submissions of critical infrastructure information from various sectors," while the department had "trained about 750 potential users in DHS and other federal, state and local agencies to handle specially protected information."
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