Homeland Security, DOD Take Charge

In a recent speech at the Global Cybersecurity Conference in Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said cybersecurity oversight under the Bush administration was disorganized, but a 60-day White House review of policies clarified federal responsibilities.

The Defense Department was given the responsibility of protecting the “.mil” domain, and the Homeland Security Department was charged with “.gov” security. DHS also was given responsibility for coordinating with the private sector for protection of the “.org” and “.com” domains, Napolitano said.

Security experts said the clarification does not reflect any major change in oversight, since Defense and Homeland Security maintained similar responsibilities under the Bush administration, but they pointed to more centralized management of cybersecurity efforts within DHS as significant. In June, Napolitano moved all cyber responsibility under Deputy Undersecretary for National Protection and Programs Directorate Phil Reitinger, including the National Cybersecurity Center, which previously maintained its own director that reported separately to the DHS secretary.

More centralized authority reportedly will help Homeland Security drive initiatives forward both within the department and across the federal government, some say.

In a recent speech at the Global Cybersecurity Conference in Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said cybersecurity oversight under the Bush administration was disorganized, but a 60-day White House review of policies clarified federal responsibilities.

The Defense Department was given the responsibility of protecting the “.mil” domain, and the Homeland Security Department was charged with “.gov” security. DHS also was given responsibility for coordinating with the private sector for protection of the “.org” and “.com” domains, Napolitano said.

Security experts said the clarification does not reflect any major change in oversight, since Defense and Homeland Security maintained similar responsibilities under the Bush administration, but they pointed to more centralized management of cybersecurity efforts within DHS as significant. In June, Napolitano moved all cyber responsibility under Deputy Undersecretary for National Protection and Programs Directorate Phil Reitinger, including the National Cybersecurity Center, which previously maintained its own director that reported separately to the DHS secretary.

More centralized authority reportedly will help Homeland Security drive initiatives forward both within the department and across the federal government, some say.

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