Is FEMA The Best Group To Model A Cybersecurity Agency After?

from the proactivity dept

There's been a lot of talk about the cybersecurity policy actions the Obama administration will undertake, with few clear ideas on exactly what such a policy should entail, or what powers the much-discussed cybersecurity "czar" should have. One of the supposed leading candidates for the czarship says that what the country really needs is "a FEMA for the internet" that can coordinate responses to electronic attacks and problems. The wisdom of invoking the idea of another FEMA doesn't seem too wise, given the agency's rather tarnished reputation following its ham-fisted response to Hurricane Katrina and other disasters, but leaving that aside, there may be deeper issues. FEMA's role is largely preparedness for and reaction to natural disasters; shouldn't a cybersecurity agency be focused more on prevention than reaction? The idea of something like FEMA makes sense in the context of natural disasters and emergencies, since they are largely unpreventable and inevitable. But isn't cybersecurity an area in which prevention of disasters and attacks is arguably more important?

Filed Under: cybersecurity, fema, government, politics


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Feb 2009 @ 10:15am

    But ...

    While cyber security should really be focused on prevention. Total security is impossible. Therefore an effort is justified in setting up policies to react to a security breach.

    Just imagine what it would be like if they designed the 'perfect' security system and so didn't worry about what they would do if it got breached because that is "impossible." They'd be caught with their proverbial pants around their ankles and the hacker would ravage their system as he/she/it wanted to.

    So FEMA might be a bad model to work from but don't you dare just focus on prevention, you must work to prevent security breaches but you better have a backup plan

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