DHS Secretary: 'Federal Cybersecurity Is Not Where It Needs To Be'

July 9, 2015

Mohana Ravindranath

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday reaffirmed his goal to make the latest version of a cybersecurity intrusion detection and prevention platform -- known as EINSTEIN 3A -- available to all federal civilian agencies by the end of 2015. 

In a speech Wednesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Johnson described the department's cyber response acceleration, in response to recent threats including the breach of Office of Personnel Management's employee data. (Hours after computer glitches halted some operations at The Wall Street Journal, the New York Stock Exchange and United Airlines, Johnson assured listeners that, according to his information, malfunctions at the latter two were "not the result of any nefarious actor," though he admitted DHS knew less about The Wall Street Journal glitch.)

The OPM breach "remains the subject of an ongoing investigation," Johnson said, but added, "to be frank, our federal cybersecurity is not where it needs to be."

Next month, he said, DHS plans to encourage the development of information sharing and analysis organizations -- collaborative cyberthreat information sharing groups mandated by a February executive order -- by selecting one organization to "develop best practices" for public and private sector information sharing.

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