DHS head: ‘Relentless resilience’ will drive collaboration on cybersecurity
As the Department of Homeland Security continues to change the way it handles various cyberthreats the U.S. faces, the agency’s head said it’s focusing on making essential functions provided by critical infrastructure sectors more resilient.
“Today’s cybertattacks can manifest in physical consequences and attackers are deploying cyber weapons to disrupt and destruct, requiring much more sophisticated defenses,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at the SINET conference in Washington on Thursday. “Infrastructure continues to be a significant target of interest for a diverse group of threat actors. Nation-states such as Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, as well as cybercriminals, terrorist groups, and others today can initiate attacks anywhere in the world, any time.”
As DHS plays a lead role in warding off the cyberthreats Nielsen described, she described focusing on protecting specific critical infrastructure assets as an outdated norm. Instead, DHS is looking to focus on protecting essential functions that are the product of multiple sectors, she said. Focusing on assets, Nielsen said, means focusing on “systems that are usually owned are particular entity,” which she suggested hinders the collaboration needed to effectively protect critical infrastructure.