New DHS cyber alert system under fire

Monday, 2 February 2004, 10:16 AM EST

The leaders of the security-information-sharing organizations within some of the nation's critical-infrastructure sectors are criticizing the Department of Homeland Security for announcing a new cyber alert system without better framing the role of the private sector.
In interviews with Computerworld, senior officials from the Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISAC) within the IT and financial services industries said they learned of the new DHS National Cyber Alert System from media reports that appeared shortly after the announcement was made yesterday (see story). More important, the officials said they still have little or no idea what, if any, new capabilities the alert system offers, what is expected of the ISACs or how the private sector is supposed to integrate and coordinate with the DHS on the alerts.

"The government wanted to know how it could get [security information] to everybody, but it didn't ask us how we could do that," said Pete Allor, operations director for the IT sector's ISAC. "At least you got a conference call," he said, referring to the media briefing hosted by the DHS.

By Dan Verton at Computerworld.

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