New Threat Center to Integrate Cyber Intelligence
New Threat Center to
Integrate Cyber Intelligence
By Cheryl Pellerin, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DoD
News) – February 11, 2015 – A new Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration
Center is being created under the auspices of the director of national
DARPA's High-Assurance Cyber Military
The center will serve a similar function for cyber as the
National Counterterrorism Center does for terrorism, Lisa Monaco, assistant to
the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said during a keynote
speech yesterday at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
The NCTC, established in 2004, puts into action a 9/11
Commission recommendation -- to break "the older mold of national government
organizations" and "be a center for joint operational planning and joint
intelligence, staffed by personnel from the various agencies."
"No single government entity," Monaco said, "is responsible
for producing coordinated cyber threat assessments, ensuring that information is
shared rapidly among existing cyber centers and other [government] elements, and
supporting the work of operators and policymakers with timely intelligence about
the latest cyber threats and threat actors."
New Center Intended to Fill Gaps
The Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, she added,
is intended to fill these gaps, analyzing and integrating information already
collected under existing authorities, and is intended to enable centers that
already perform cyber functions to do their jobs more effectively.
President Barack Obama's new budget backs up the commitment
to fight cyber threats with $14 billion to protect critical infrastructure,
government networks and other systems, Monaco said.
Safeguarding Americans online, she added, requires that the
government work with the private sector "to enhance the security of what has
become a vast cyber ecosystem."
A Precondition of Success
Though the private sector shouldn't rely on the government to
solve its cybersecurity problems, the government won't leave the private sector
to fend for itself, Monaco said, calling partnership a precondition of success.
"To the private sector, we've made it clear that we will work
together," she added. "We're not going to bottle up our intelligence. If we have
information about a significant threat to a business, we're going to do our
utmost to share it."
Within 24 hours of learning about the Sony Pictures
Entertainment attack, Monaco said, the U.S. government pushed out information
and malware signatures to the private sector to update its cyber defenses.
"We want this flow of information to go both ways," she said.
When companies share information about a major cyber
intrusion or a potentially debilitating denial-of-service attack, they can
expect government agencies to respond quickly, Monaco said, specifying that the
-- Provide as much information as it can about the threat to
help companies protect their networks and critical information;
-- Coordinate a quick and unified response from government experts, including
those at the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI;
-- Look to determine who the actors are and hold them to account; and
-- Bring to bear, as government experts respond to attacks, all the available
tools and draw on the full range of government resources to disrupt threats.
21st-century Cyber Threats
"I want to commend companies that have shown strong
leadership by coming forward as soon as they identify breaches and seek
assistance so we can work together and address threats more rapidly," Monaco
said. "Across the board, we're tearing down silos, increasing communication and
developing the flexibility and agility to respond to cyber threats of the 21st
century, just as we have done in the counterterrorism world."
Despite this progress, Monaco added, "it has become clear
that we can do more as a government to quickly consolidate, analyze and provide
assessments on fast-moving threats or attacks."
During last month's State of the Union address, Obama pledged
that the government will integrate intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as
it has to combat terrorism.
(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter @PellerinDoDNews)
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