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CNCI Partially Unclassified.

In the wake of CNN’s airing of the two-hour special, We Were Warned: Cyber Shockwave, which stunned much of the public, and this governments administration, Mr. Howard Schmidt, the Executive Branch Cybersecurity Coordinator, or Cyber Czar, gave a keynote speech at the RSA conference yesterday.

Although I was stuck in DC, I read online that he spoke of Partnership and Transparency as being critical components in the President’s Cyberspace Policy Review. Mr. Schmidt also announced that the Obama Administration had revised the classification guidance for the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) and that the unclassified portion would be made available by the end of day on Tuesday on the whitehouse.gov website. CNCI was launched by President Bush in National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 (NSPD-54/HSPD-23 ) in January 2008. Although I’m excited about the potential of Partnership and Transparency as I too believe we can not be successful in cyber space without them, I was more interested in the public release of CNCI, which illustrates some direction for our government in the shorter term.

Announcement of a funded strategy, even if it’s not the Administrations promised National U.S. Cybersecurity strategy, couldn’t have come at a better time. With the recent CNN broadcast, and the successful attacks in the last few months on Google, and Twitter, consensus is that the US is not ready for a sophisticated cyber attack that crosses Government, critical infrastructure, and private domains.

If you watched the CNN special, you would have seen that the question wasn’t whether we could defend ourselves from a nation state or hacker group or launch an attack across cyber space, but rather could we act quickly enough to an attack while being impeded by questions of law, policy, politics, and jurisdictional boundary – issues not shared with our fast moving, highly sophisticated adversaries.

CNCI has the following major goals:

  • To establish a front line of defense against today’s immediate threats
  • To defend against the full spectrum of threats
  • To strengthen the future cybersecurity environment

Layer 7 Technologies a Vendor of dynamic cyber defense products, provides our customers with the ability to protect applications, enable application monitoring for situational awareness, and the ability to adapt in the face of attack. These capabilities are critical in providing solutions across all three of the major goals of CNCI.

For more information on CNCI, please see www.whitehouse.gov

For more information on Layer 7 Technologies, please see www.layer7tech.com

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Adam is an internationally renowned information security expert and is currently the CEO and a founder at Cyber Squared Inc. He possesses over a decade of experience in programming, network security, penetration testing, cryptography design & cryptanalysis, identity and access control, and a detailed expertise in information security. The culmination of this knowledge has led to the company’s creation of ThreatConnect™, the first-of-its-kind threat intelligence platform. He currently serves as an advisor to multiple security-focused organizations and has provided consultation to numerous businesses ranging from start-ups to governments, Fortune 500 organizations, and top financial institutions. Adam holds an MS in computer science with graduate certifications in computer security and information assurance from George Washington University. Vincent lives in Arlington, VA with his wife, two children, and dog.