12 December 2001. Thanks to BC.
Thursday December 06 12:13 PM EST
Gov't To Map Infrastructure
By Rutrell Yasin, InternetWeek
The federal government next month will begin mapping the links between networks that control critical infrastructures to help companies and government agencies react quickly to cyber and physical threats.
Washington, D.C.--The federal government next month will begin mapping the links between networks that control critical infrastructures to help companies and government agencies react quickly to cyber and physical threats.
The National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center will provide a map of all the interdependent telecom and IT networks, gas pipelines, railroad systems and electric power lines.
The map will help security analysts better understand the effect that one part of the nation's infrastructure may have on another, said Richard Clarke, special adviser for cybersecurity to President Bush.
Clarke, who disclosed the plan this week, was appointed by Bush following the Sept. 11 attacks to help the federal government and commercial sectors better exchange information that would help combat or react to cyberterrorism.
It was unclear how that information will be shared or made accessible, however.
"The center will create an acupuncture map of the country, so we will know where to harden our protection," Clarke said.
Such a map, for example, could have helped IT managers determine how a train derailment that caused a fire in a tunnel in Baltimore this summer might have degraded Internet performance in Chicago. In that case, the high-speed backbone connections running through the tunnel were destroyed, though that wasn't apparent at the time.
There needs to be a national system through which IT managers can get detailed information about viruses and attacks and quickly determine how such developments might affect corporate IT environments, said Jason Painter, corporate Webmaster at electronic component maker Coherent.
Separately, Congress is considering legislation that would modify the Freedom of Information Act so companies can share information with the government about vulnerabilities without the risk that the information will be subject to public exposure. Clarke said he hopes this legislation will be passed before Congress adjourns for the holidays this month.
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