Security group in the hot seat

Tuesday, 17 June 2003, 9:01 AM EST

The Homeland Security Department had the right idea when it created the National Cyber Security Division earlier this month, government and industry officials say, but many observers are withholding judgment until they see what the new division accomplishes.

The division, announced June 6, will coordinate the federal government's work on issues such as security education and awareness and cybersecurity warnings and responses. Many people in government and industry urged the Bush administration to create a formal structure ever since the release of the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace was released in February.

One organization that has been folded into the new division is the Federal Computer Incident Response Center (FedCIRC), which issues security alerts for civilian agencies. According to Robert Liscouski, DHS' assistant secretary for infrastructure protection, the plan is to enhance FedCIRC's capabilities by melding it with other organizations to form the consolidated Cyber Security Tracking, Analysis and Response Center.

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