Taking a page for cybersecurity from the counterterror playbook


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The Obama administration is taking a page out of the counterterrorism playbook to help it secure the nation against hackers, cyberspies and other online threats, a White House official said Tuesday.

Just as the National Counter-Terrorism Center is an all-source intelligence fusion hub for terrorist threats, so the new Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, or CTIIC, is for cyber threats, Andrew Grotto, senior director for cybersecurity policy at the White House National Security Council, told FedTalks.

“From threat summaries to in-depth analysis, CTIIC has become the place to go for policymakers” needing actionable intelligence, Grotto added.

And CTIIC was just one example of the way the administration was tying together roles of various federal agencies, he said, learning from the experience of coordinating counter-terrorism policy.

“One of the key lessons here is developing muscle-memory between and across federal agencies,” Grotto explained, so that in a crisis, everyone knows what their role is.   

That’s why President Barack Obama in July signed Presidential Policy Directive 41 on cyber incident coordination — “Improving our ability to respond [to] and recover from cyberattacks,” as Grotto put it.

He reminded a packed house at the Sidney Harman Hall in Washington that, when Obama was first campaigning to be president, the iPhone was brand new, and we lived in a very different technological world.

Over the eight years of the Obama administration, he said “I’ve watched cybersecurity evolve from a niche subject of concern to intelligence agencies and IT specialists, into a major national issue.

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Cybersecurity, Defense & Intelligence, Department of Defense (DOD), Departments, Government IT News, Tech, White House