All hands effort is needed

Migration of IT systems to The Department of Homeland Security's National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage is reportedly moving slowly, says Bill Unrue, president, Anonymizer.

There's been much discussion of late regarding the perceived lack of expediency by federal agencies to identify and prioritize critical cyber infrastructure needs. Despite Congress approving $97.3 million in current funding for The Department of Homeland Security's National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage (NCCIPS), the migration of IT systems to the national organization is reportedly moving slowly.

But fingerpointing is not the answer. Corporate America has the duty and the expertise to be a key asset in protecting government IT systems. The willingness of Congress to fund $319 million next year toward combating cyberterrorism is a virtual call to arms to all businesses and organizations to do just that. It's a matter of being part of the solution or part of the problem.

To expedite involvement, government agencies, nonprofits, security product manufacturers and prime contractors should call for a cybersecurity summit, designed to help identify and prioritize the apparently elusive critical security infrastructure needs. Corporations who do such work already hold clearances for their government contracts, so keeping discussions confidential is very doable.

The summit should include how current security policies and practices are impacting how well an agency's network environment is able to protect both its information and employees' exposure to being traced, tracked and attributed. What's more, corporate America should not only be willing to participate in such conferences, but also share in the responsibilities for its implementation.

Sharing in the risks will bring with it ample rewards. In addition to solving this specific initiative, contractors and agencies will lay a solid foundation to identify other needs and solutions. This new partnership will open both opportunities and budgets, making the associated operations efficient in design and execution.

The U.S. government has demonstrated a strong commitment to making this happen by apportioning and advocating for billions of dollars toward this effort. It's time for us in the business world to respond in kind with our expertise and dedication.

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