15 May 2012

US Officials Turn Computers Into Bricks Before CEOs

"Enduring Security Framework" public-private partnership matches top technology to top defense, real-time sharing of classified web threat info on the wish list.

Every year, top technology CEOs are invited to Washington D.C. for a one-day top-security briefing on the latest developments in cyberwarfare. The “Enduring Security Framework” public-private partnership was launched in 2008 to raise awareness among company executives about cyberthreats and to persuade them to implement effective measures to counter the various vulnerabilities cyber attackers may exploit.

Participants in the briefings are also introduced to the cyberweapons developed by the National Security Agency and the Cyber Command to fend off digital attacks against the U.S.

"When we see what our folks are capable of doing, we need to look back and say, 'There are other smart people out there that can do things to this country,' " Alexander said. "We need to look at that and say, 'How are we going to defend [against them]?' ", stated Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the U.S. military's Cyber Command, as quoted by NPR.

The 2010 CEO and US cybersecurity meeting brought to light a design flaw which could allow malevolent individuals or organizations to release computer firmware updates likely to render U.S. computers inoperable. Computer manufacturers proceeded to fix the respective flaw. This served as a very powerful wake up call for all participants who came to understand the proportions cyberwarefare damage may reach.

The meeting conclusions also indicated that greater cooperation between the private sector and the government officials is needed and that future cybersecurity legislation should provide the framework for an actual information sharing system between the two.