New cyber center to coordinate threat intelligence

By Aaron Boyd, Federal Times — Feb. 10, 2015

In order to stem the wave of cyber threats targeting the U.S. government and private industry each day, the administration is announcing a new intelligence integration center to get the entire nation working together to combat cyber attacks.

The new Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC) will work like the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) to cull together all pertinent threat information in a single place and disseminate it as needed. It will fall under the purview of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The new center will not be an intelligence gathering institution, said Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, who introduced the CTIIC during a talk at the Wilson Center on Feb. 10.

Rather, the CTIIC “will analyze and integrate intelligence already collected,” Monaco explained. “That will enable the existing cyber centers to be more effective.”

The CTIIC will act as a central repository for the operation centers, just as the NCTC works with intelligence gathering organizations.

“What we need is critical, rapid, integrated intelligence to serve those operations,” she said, including information from private companies.

“To truly protect Americans online, we have to work in lockstep with the private sector,” she said. “We won’t leave the public sector to fend for itself.”

Monaco cited attacks on Target, JP Morgan and others but singled out the breach at Sony Pictures as particularly troubling.

“The Sony hack was a game changer because it wasn’t about profit,” she said. “At the bottom, it was about coercion,” which has closer parallels to terrorism than traditional crime. “We need to develop the same muscle memory for cyber threats that we have in counterterrorism.”

Ultimately, the center will “look to determine who the actor is and bring them to account,” Monaco said.

The CTIIC will focus on four priorities:

  • Improving cyber defense, including widespread adoption of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework;
  • Improving the ability to disrupt, respond to and recover from attacks;
  • Enhancing international cooperation; and
  • Making cyberspace intrinsically more secure, including eliminating passwords as the default security tool and enhancing consumer protection.

“Cybersecurity is and will remain a defining challenge of the 21st century,” Monaco said. “The choices we make today will define the threats we face tomorrow.”

(Article via FederalTimes.com)

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