East Portico of United States Capitol in Washington

Obama Administration: Speak Up On Trusted ID Plans!

The Obama Administration is throwing its weight behind two federal efforts to increase the use of so-called “trusted identities” online as a way to combat consumer fraud and threats to critical infrastructure. Writing on the White House blog on Monday, Michael Daniel, the Obama Administration’s cyber security coordinator said that the current system for managing online identities (user IDs and passwords) is “hopelessly broken,” and that the stakes are getting ever higher for breaches. “While today it might be a social media website, tomorrow it could be your bank, health services providers, or even public utilities,” he wrote. Daniel said two federal initiatives aim to tip the scales in the direction of stronger and more secure online identities, but that more public engagement is needed to ensure that what is produced by those projects gets adopted. Specifically: Daniel highlighted two NIST-led efforts: the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), […]

Ralph Langner

U.S. Cyber Security Framework Is Good News-For Hackers

Ralph Langner, the renowned expert on the security of industrial control- and SCADA systems, warns that the latest draft of the U.S. Government’s Cyber Security Framework (CSF) will do little to make critical infrastructure more resistant to devastating cyber attacks. Writing on his blog, Langner said that a draft of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework does little to compel critical infrastructure owners to improve the security of their systems, or guarantee uniform (and robust) cyber security standards in the critical infrastructure space. NIST released the latest draft of the CSF late last month (PDF). But Langner, writing on Wednesday,  likened the framework to a recipe that, if used by three different chefs, produces three totally different dishes…or just a messy kitchen. “A less metaphorical words, a fundamental problem of the CSF is that it is not a method that, if applied properly, would lead to predictable results,” […]

NIST Draft Framework

NIST Cyber Security Draft Framework Puts Execs In Driver’s Seat

The U.S. government’s federal technology agency has published a draft version of a voluntary framework it hopes will guide the private sector in reducing the risk of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published a draft of its Preliminary Framework to Reduce Cyber Risks to Critical Infrastructure on Monday. The document provides a guide for critical infrastructure owners of different maturity levels to begin documenting and understanding their risk of cyber attack, and – eventually – to measure their performance in areas such as asset management, threat detection and incident response. The framework was called for by Executive Order 13636, signed by President Obama in February. In that order, NIST was charged with creating a framework for sharing cyber security threat information and information on successful approaches to reduce risks to critical infrastructure. The Framework is comprised of five major cybersecurity functions: Know […]