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DHS cyber security turning focus to insider threats
From: Audrey McNeil <audrey () riskbasedsecurity com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 17:52:55 -0700


DHS cyber security efforts have recently shifted to rooting out insider
threats. To this end, it may invest in continuous monitoring systems and
harden the access controls on administrator accounts. At the same time, the
Department of Homeland Security is keen to consolidate its data centers and
upgrade its network infrastructure to handle demand from new endpoints.

Government IT acquisitions in 2014 will be driven by the need to protect
assets from anexpanding range of threats. According to Federal Times, DHS
agencies are purchasing network scanners as part of the the department's $6
billion cyber security contract, and while the current focus of this
strategy is on guarding against external attacks, insider threats are
increasingly on the radar.

DHS Federal Network Resilience director John Streufert stated that the
department is seeking to automate the control of administrator privileges
on the network. Doing so will be an important part of preventing incidents
like the data leaks that recently affected the National Security Agency.

Still, maintaining and improving cyber security could be challenging at a
time when budgets are flat or declining and IT systems are becoming
increasingly complex. On top of that, agencies are under pressure from data
center consolidation mandates.

Writing for National Defense Magazine, Stew Magnuson explained that DHS is
tackling a lot of issues at once, including consolidation and insider
threat mitigation. It isn't alone: Nearly eight in 10 federal IT managers
recently surveyed by Brocade expected cloud computing, cyber security
issues and big data projects to create burdens that their current
infrastructure couldn't handle.

Agencies will need new network performance management solutions to get the
most of their new projects. Big data and social media initiatives could
help them keep tabs on possible rogue threats, but they will require
modernized, resilient IT infrastructure to really take off.
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