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DHS Publishes “Blueprint for a Secure Cyber Future”

DHS Guide Outlines Cybersecurity Strategy for the Homeland Security Enterprise

DHS Guide Outlines Cybersecurity Strategy for the Homeland Security Enterprise

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a guide on Monday that builds on the Department’s February 2010 “Quadrennial Homeland Security Review,” which established the safeguarding and securing of cyberspace as a critical mission of the DHS.

DHS Blueprint for a Secure Cyber FutureThe new guide, the “Blueprint for a Secure Cyber Future,” aims to provide a path to create a safe, secure, and resilient cyber environment for the homeland security enterprise.

“With this guide, stakeholders at all levels of government, the private sector, and our international partners can work together to develop the cybersecurity capabilities that are key to our economy, national security, and public health and safety,” noted DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano as she announced the new publication.

The DHS sees the Blueprint as a complement to the President’s International Strategy for Cyberspace, the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace and the recently released Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace.

The fifty-page document outlines an integrated approach to enable the homeland security community to leverage existing capabilities and promote technological advances that protect the government as well as the public and private sectors online.

Specific actions outlined in the strategy range from hardening critical networks and prosecuting cybercrime to raising public awareness and training a national cybersecurity workforce.

The two areas of action described in the Blueprint include: 

• Protecting our Critical Information Infrastructure Today

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• Building a Stronger Cyber Ecosystem for Tomorrow.

Furthermore, the guide lists four goals for protecting critical information infrastructure, including:

• Reduce Exposure to Cyber Risk

• Ensure Priority Response and Recovery

• Maintain Shared Situational Awareness

• Increase Resilience

These four goals are supported by nine objectives, with each dependent on a variety of capabilities that, when implemented, are designed to work in tandem to anticipate and respond to threats. Additionally, the guide lists four goals for strengthening the cyber ecosystem:

• Empower Individuals and Organizations to Operate Securely

• Make and Use More Trustworthy Cyber Protocols, Products, Services, Configurations and Architectures

• Build Collaborative Communities

• Establish Transparent Processes

The DHS says that Department’s cybersecurity activities will keep citizen’s privacy and civil liberties in mind. “We will support an open and interoperable cyberspace that enables individuals around the globe to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas,” the guide notes. “This free flow of information has proven essential to the rapid evolution and growth of the Internet. Cyberspace must continue to be a forum for free association and free speech.”

The DHS admits that while some of the capabilities described in the Blueprint are robust and at work today, others must be expanded, with some requiring further research and development before they can be put into action.

“As we implement this strategy, DHS will continue to work with partners across the homeland security enterprise to implement the goals outlined in the Blueprint,” Napolitano added.

The full “Blueprint for a Secure Cyber Future” is available here.

Written By

For more than 15 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is founder and director of several leading cybersecurity industry conferences around the world.

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