Nation's infrastructure far from secure

Monday, 2 December 2002, 4:00 PM EST

The 23-year Marine veteran--and current Cisco Systems executive--is president and chairman of the Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security, an 80-company organization that identifies vulnerabilities in the private sector's cyberinfrastructure. His conclusion so far: In this escalating arms race, the nation's critical services are far from secure.

How well are we moving toward securing the nation's infrastructure?

We have made a lot of progress, but it is an arms race. I don't know when the next attack is going to be. I don't know when the next breakthrough in defenses is going to happen, but everyone I have talked to in the infrastructure sectors is aware of the issue and is motivated to do everything they can to not only protect themselves, but also protect our country and other countries of the world.

What are the biggest security issues facing the Internet and the nation?

The Internet knows no borders. This is not just a national problem; it is an international problem. We are working together to try to raise the bar for security worldwide. The U.S. government knows this, but it is a paradigm shift for them. And it is difficult institutionally for the U.S. government to think globally when they are talking about their own national security. We think that the formation of the Department of Homeland Security is going to help a lot because it will provide focus.

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