DHS Chief: Security a Global Effort

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 @ 06:01 PM gHale

Ensuring a secure environment for the flow of commerce in the United States and around the world continues to be a major initiative with the Department of Homeland Security.

That was just one of the messages Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano gave Monday during her second annual address on the State of America’s Homeland Security: Homeland Security and Economic Security.”

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While Napolitano addressed all of what DHS brings to the table, the following excerpts focus on cyber security as it relates to industry:

“In the area of cyber security, we are moving to create a secure environment or the flow of cyber commerce and helping support a secure marketplace for the exchange of goods and ideas.

“We are deploying the latest tools across the federal government to protect critical systems while sharing timely and actionable security information with public and private sector partners to help them protect their own operations.

“Beyond protecting the computer networks of the civilian side of our government, we are leading the effort to protect our nation’s critical information infrastructure – the systems and networks that support the financial services industry, the electric power industry, and the telecommunications industry, to name a few.

“And we now have dedicated representatives from these and other key economic sectors working at DHS alongside our own cyber security experts to prevent, identify, and address cyber incidents.

“We continue to work with the private sector, other government national security and law enforcement agencies and the international community to mitigate the risks and reduce the potential for a malicious actor to be successful.

“Last year, our Computer Emergency Readiness Team responded to more than 100,000 incident reports, and released more than 5,000 actionable cyber security alerts to our federal, state, and private sector partners.

“And we are working with our international law enforcement partners to share expertise and resources to combat electronic crimes such as identity and intellectual property theft, network intrusions, and a range of financial crimes.

“These efforts are showing results. In the last year alone, the U.S. Secret Service prevented $5.6 billion in potential losses through financial crime investigations and $1.5 billion through cyber crime investigations.

“At the same time, ICE also disrupted or dismantled more than 140 transnational criminal organizations capable of laundering over $1 billion in illegal proceeds and illegally exporting 50,000 pieces of controlled technology.

“No one understands the need for security more than the business community, where one break in the supply chain can put an entire company at risk.

“And in today’s world, it is not just big businesses that feel the impact of the global security network. Small businesses are inextricably linked to the larger commercial world—and in many cases are serving as the engines of security innovation.

“We want to encourage this innovation. In Fiscal Year 2011, DHS awarded almost 30 percent of our total contracting dollars to small businesses, resulting in more than $4.2 billion in prime small business contracts.

“Our investment in businesses of all sizes is paying off in the development of new security tools.

“For example, our new “Commercial First” approach leverages the innovations and development done by industry to support the Department’s nuclear and radiological detection equipment needs.

“This initiative facilitates interaction among industry, stakeholders, and researchers to develop technology that is better and more cost-effective.”