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Posts Tagged ‘TechAmerica’

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 07:05 PM gHale

Cyber security is the top issue keeping federal agency CIOs up at night, followed by controlling costs and managing human capital, according a new survey.

Forty CIOs and other federal IT leaders, from agencies including the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs ended up interviewed by TechAmerica, a tech industry group. Twenty percent identified cyber security as their top concern, followed by 15% who pointed to controlling costs, and 12% human capital.

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While most of security resources direct toward outside threats, internal threats are a growing concern, respondents said. At the same time, TechAmerica said outside threats are on the rise and becoming more sophisticated.

One CIO said IT security is inconsistent in federal government and quality is “all over the place.” A consequence of such concerns is agencies are unwilling to embrace federal IT goals for centralization and mobility, according to the report. There would be less concern if there was a consistent, high-quality security framework applied across government.

Survey respondents recommended agencies identify which department “owns” security; that they plan ahead and build infrastructure with security in mind; and the government develop sound metrics for security monitoring.

Cost control was the second most-mentioned concern of federal CIOs, a reflection of flat IT budgets over the past three years. Some said budget discipline drove changes such as dropping unused software licenses and adopting thin-client hardware. However, across-the-board budget cuts were the “most feasible and least effective way” to control costs.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 12:04 PM gHale

Two technology trade associations supporting legislation to improve U.S. cyber security said they suffered an attack from Anonymous.

Anonymous claimed credit for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on the TechAmerica and USTelecom websites. The types of attacks usually involve flooding a website with traffic, causing it to crash.

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The organizations said the attacks amount to reprisal for supporting the legislation, among cyber security bills under consideration by Congress, designed to encourage companies and government agencies to voluntarily share information about cyber threats.

Users couldn’t connect to the website for USTelecom, which represents telephone companies led by AT&T, Verizon Communications Inc., and CenturyLink Inc., starting April 8 and the site was “up and down” the day after as technicians worked to restore service, said Anne Veigle, a spokeswoman.

The website of TechAmerica, whose members include IBM, Microsoft Corp., and Apple, wasn’t loading Tuesday. The attack began April 8 and the association was working to get the site back up, said Stephanie Craig, a TechAmerica spokeswoman.

The trade groups support cyber security legislation introduced by Representatives Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger of Maryland, the panel’s top Democrat.

USTelecom officials spotted a Web posting that said Anonymous members took down the trade group’s website, said Karn Dhingra, a spokesman.

A Twitter account called @Anon_Central called the Rogers bill “draconian” and posted a link to groups and companies supporting the legislation.

“By launching a cyber attack in an effort to coerce, intimidate and stifle speech, members of Anonymous are acting contrary to the very freedoms and Internet norms that they espouse,” said Walter McCormick, president of USTelecom.

Shawn Osborne, TechAmerica’s president, said in a statement that “these types of strong-arm tactics have no place in the critical discussions our country needs to be having about our cyber security, they just underscore the importance of them.” TechAmerica will keep pushing for the Rogers bill, Osborne said.

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