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Amit Yoran Testimony re DHS NSA and Cyber Security
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 21:35:19 -0400

Amit Yoran Testimony re DHS NSA and Cyber Security

The Testimony is at:


The entire hearing testimony site is :

Yorin's testimony is excellent overall, but below is the bit I thought particularly worth reading:

"Homeland Security.
o The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has demonstrated inefficiency and leadership failure in its cyber efforts. While pockets of progress have been made, administrative incompetence and political infighting have squandered meaningful progress and for years now our adversaries continue to aggressively press their advantage. Recently, the Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, told the House intelligence committee that the NSA, rather than the Department of Homeland Security which currently oversees cybersecurity, has the smarts and the skills to secure cyberspace. In his assessment of both organizations he is absolutely correct. DHS has repeated failed to either attract or retain the leadership and technical acumen required to successfully lead in the cyber mission space. On a number of occasions proven, talented and knowledgeable leaders from within the government or successful experts from private sector have joined the department in hopes of meaningful contribution. In its cyber responsibilities DHS has a consistent track record for tolerating political infighting, individual egos and shenanigans over prioritizing and executing its cyber responsibilities in a mature fashion. While the tendency would be to migrate the cyber mission to the NSA, that would be ill advised for all of the reasons provided earlier. In Rod Beckstrom’s resignation letter last week, he states, “NSA effectively controls DHS cyber efforts thru detailees, technology insertion and the proposed move of NPPD and the NCSC to a Ft Meade NSA facility. NSA currently dominates most national cyber efforts…The intelligence culture is very different than a network operations or security culture. In addition, the threats to our democratic processes are significant if all top level government network security and monitoring are handled by any one organization.” This could not have been more accurately stated. We must enable civil government to succeed at this mission. This being said, it is far past time we fix the DHS problems and move forward."

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