Cybersecurity: Hot Trend (Unfortunately) for Federal Government

Cybersecurity is one of the greatest concerns and hottest IT trends in government today.  Highlighted recently through reports of China’s hacking of Google, the issue has simmered for years.    Now the Department of Homeland Security says it is detecting new patterns of cyber attacks from foreign foes.

Einstein 2, a new “special-purpose intrusion-detection system (IDS)” has been detecting the attacks according to reports in NetworkWorld.  With only a handful of agencies now on the system, DHS says it is detecting between 100 and 10,000 cyber attacks on the federal agency per week.  The IDS will be widely deployed in federal networks during 2010.

According to, “cybersecurity” is defined as “…the protection of all things Internet — from the networks themselves to the information stored in computer databases and other applications.”   The concept has grown as businesses and government agencies send and process greater amounts of data online.  Its importance will continue to expand as broadband capacities swell and new technologies emerge that foster greater collaboration and data exchange.

Last week the House passed the 2009 Cybersecurity Enhancement Act.  According to the bill provides about $395 million in grants for computer and network security R&D between 2010 and 2014.  It also funds nearly $100 million in scholarships to recruit and train cybersecurity professionals, and $120 million for research facility construction and training program development at colleges and universities. The bill requires a task force, made up of representatives from federal government, industry and academia, to consider how to encourage collaborative research and development for cybersecurity.  There is no companion bill in the Senate yet.



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