15 Oct 2010

Homeland Security, Department of Defense ally to fight cyber attacks

The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security have agreed to combine resources in an effort to combat cyber threats. The agreement comes after U.S. officials decided that Homeland Security lacked the money and time to replicate the infrastructures that the DOD’s National Security Agency already has in place,according to NPR.

“The agreement embeds DOD cyber analysts within DHS to better support the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center and sends a full-time senior DHS leader to DOD’s National Security Agency, along with a support team comprised of DHS privacy, civil liberties and legal personnel,” said DOD Secretary Robert Gates and DHS Secretary Janet Napalitano in a joint statement.

Collaboration between the two departments has been a point of contention in the past. In March 2009, a DHS cyber security official quit, complaining that all efforts were being dominated by the NSA. However, President Obama has prioritized government internet security, including hiring Howard Schmidt, Microsoft’s former chief security adviser, to coordinate cyber security.

According to NPR, officials say that the changes will not grant the departments any new authority.