Deutch: Gov't lax on protecting IT

Government is not paying enough attention to protecting the nation's IT infrastructure, even as threats continue to mount. But agencies are increasing their awareness of new security technologies and are creating a growing opportunity for vendors and systems integrators, said John Deutch, who was CIA director from 1995 to 1996.

Deutch, now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spoke at the CardTech/SecurTech Conference in Washington. Despite improvements, the country's critical infrastructure remains vulnerable to attacks from hackers, terrorists and foreign governments intent on disrupting critical industries and services, he said.

Part of the difficulty in protecting the nation's IT infrastructure is a lack of government oversight. Responsibility for coordinating security has bounced around departments before coming to rest at the Homeland Security Department, Deutch said. Now he worries Homeland Security has too many other concerns on its plate, including transportation security and threats from weapons of mass destruction, to adequately focus on protecting IT infrastructure.

"We have to begin by establishing

serious industry-government working groups," Deutch said.


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