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Can't We All Just Get Along

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  • Can't We All Just Get Along

    Another one bites the dust.

    --US-CERT Director Resigns
    (August 8 & 10, 2009)
    The director of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) US Computer
    Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has resigned. Mischel Kwon was the
    fourth person to hold that position in the last five years. Last week,
    acting National Cyber Security Coordinator Melissa Hathaway stepped
    down, withdrawing her name from the list of potential candidates for the
    full time post. The position was announced months ago and has yet to
    be filled. Earlier this year, Rob Beckstrom resigned as head of the DHS
    National Cyber Security Center, citing a lack of funding and bickering
    over control with other agencies.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...702805_pf.html
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08...rt_boss_quits/
    http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=219100611
    http://fcw.com/Articles/2009/08/10/W...on-USCERT.aspx
    http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline...ncy-quits.html
    [Editor's Note (Schultz): This says a lot about the barriers and
    negative job conditions that cyber security professionals within the US
    government face. Note also that this is not the first time that notable
    cyber security professionals within the government have bailed.
    (Paller): Ms. Kwon's leaving is not a big national policy issue - it
    simply reflects her frustration with weak personnel that the last
    Administration placed at DHS and the bad performance that ensued. The
    new managers in cyber at DHS (Reitinger, McConnell, Schaffer, Brown,
    Coose) are enormously better, good enough to make a big difference in
    cybersecurity in government. And once they enable the government to lead
    by example, they are good enough to make a difference in the rest of the
    critical infrastructure with or without a White House cyber czar. But
    Mischel's patience with ineffective people in the lower level management
    roles and legal positions had run out. She was the best thing that had
    happened to DHS in years. Very sad.]


    So America, the greatest nation on earth, why can't DHS improve our nations Infosec infrastructure? Usually when I see such an epic fail, it's time to clean house, hire all new people under thirty, and start over.

    xor
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

  • #2
    Re: Can't We All Just Get Along

    Originally posted by xor View Post
    So America, the greatest nation on earth, why can't DHS improve our nations Infosec infrastructure? Usually when I see such an epic fail, it's time to clean house, hire all new people under thirty, and start over.
    xor
    Big six figure job in the private sector vs. marginal six figure pay in the public sector with absolutely no authority. Until the "cyber czar" has some actual power, no one worthwhile will still around very long.
    "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Can't We All Just Get Along

      Originally posted by theprez98 View Post
      Big six figure job in the private sector vs. marginal six figure pay in the public sector with absolutely no authority. Until the "cyber czar" has some actual power, no one worthwhile will still around very long.
      When I say this I'm not trying to impugn your honor, as you have served. But is service itself underrated today? It's such an important task, and certainly worth wild. It's frustrating that we can't get this done as a nation.

      xor
      Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Can't We All Just Get Along

        Originally posted by xor View Post
        When I say this I'm not trying to impugn your honor, as you have served. But is service itself underrated today? It's such an important task, and certainly worth wild. It's frustrating that we can't get this done as a nation.
        Piece of cake. DUMP the DHS. Put everything back the way it was 10 years ago. If you're going to have a position called "Cyber Czar" (what a moronic and pointless title), then give them the authority to back up what they say. Give them the authority to shut down .gov and .mil problem children. Give them the authority to order surprise IG audits (and I've passed these, so I speak from experience). Give them the authority to inspect and audit any of the corporations so deeply involved with the .gov and .mil (including everything from AT&T to Lockheed, and all the beltway bandits in between).

        You want this to all work? Make it more than an honorary position. It's all about POWER.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Can't We All Just Get Along

          Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
          Piece of cake. DUMP the DHS. Put everything back the way it was 10 years ago. If you're going to have a position called "Cyber Czar" (what a moronic and pointless title), then give them the authority to back up what they say. Give them the authority to shut down .gov and .mil problem children. Give them the authority to order surprise IG audits (and I've passed these, so I speak from experience). Give them the authority to inspect and audit any of the corporations so deeply involved with the .gov and .mil (including everything from AT&T to Lockheed, and all the beltway bandits in between).

          You want this to all work? Make it more than an honorary position. It's all about POWER.
          Seconded, DHS is nothing more than a knee-jerk reactionary entity created just to make "the people" feel better. Should remove TSA with them.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Can't We All Just Get Along

            Originally posted by xor View Post
            When I say this I'm not trying to impugn your honor, as you have served. But is service itself underrated today? It's such an important task, and certainly worth wild. It's frustrating that we can't get this done as a nation.

            xor
            The difference is feeling as if you can make a difference, and knowing you can't make a difference because you have no authority or power.
            "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Can't We All Just Get Along

              Originally posted by barry99705 View Post
              Seconded, DHS is nothing more than a knee-jerk reactionary entity created just to make "the people" feel better. Should remove TSA with them.
              I agree about removing TSA (otherwise known as the right to steal stuff with impunity). However, and this is a very important however:

              It doesn't matter what DHS was created for. The fact is that it has been very disruptive, and foolish, to attempt to combine all the different intelligence communities into something lesser, and under the umbrella of folk whom no one respects, and a very politicized bunch of petty dictators at that. Put the CIA, the NSA, the DIA, the DISA, NGA, NRO... (you name it) back to the way they were. Put FEMA back as an independent entity. Get the DHS out of everyone's business. If they want to do something, let them start writing position papers explaining how "there's no such thing as too big to fail." Then they'd at least be doing something useful.

              Cyber czar. Phooey. If everyone was back to their previous charters, that would be divided up appropriately between the FBI and the NSA, with maybe a few bits over at the CIA. I suspect, unfortunately, that things are just too broken to work properly anymore, even if they did things my way (and put stuff back).

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Can't We All Just Get Along

                Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
                I agree about removing TSA (otherwise known as the right to steal stuff with impunity). However, and this is a very important however:

                It doesn't matter what DHS was created for. The fact is that it has been very disruptive, and foolish, to attempt to combine all the different intelligence communities into something lesser, and under the umbrella of folk whom no one respects, and a very politicized bunch of petty dictators at that. Put the CIA, the NSA, the DIA, the DISA, NGA, NRO... (you name it) back to the way they were. Put FEMA back as an independent entity. Get the DHS out of everyone's business. If they want to do something, let them start writing position papers explaining how "there's no such thing as too big to fail." Then they'd at least be doing something useful.

                Cyber czar. Phooey. If everyone was back to their previous charters, that would be divided up appropriately between the FBI and the NSA, with maybe a few bits over at the CIA. I suspect, unfortunately, that things are just too broken to work properly anymore, even if they did things my way (and put stuff back).
                I do completely agree with you that the DHS needs to be eliminated as it currently stands, but at the same time, I think that the intelligence and LE communities need to have better communication between themselves. I do believe that the basic intention of DHS was good, but like everything that the government tries to do, it was terribly bastardized and horribly implemented.

                I do think that the private sector should be left alone to secure their own crap and the feds should just step out. We don't need them telling us how to secure our systems.
                A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Can't We All Just Get Along

                  Originally posted by streaker69 View Post
                  I do believe that the basic intention of DHS was good, but like everything that the government tries to do, it was terribly bastardized and horribly implemented.
                  I believe the old saying goes something along the lines of the road to hell is paved with good intentions? The bureaucratic system in place needs to realize that the old techniques are not working and they have to make changes in order to deal with the problems they face today.

                  Originally posted by streaker69 View Post
                  I do think that the private sector should be left alone to secure their own crap and the feds should just step out. We don't need them telling us how to secure our systems.
                  I think a fair compromise would be to only require that companies follow the feds rules if they're going to connect to a federal network or work on their data. People aren't normally required to abide by security policies for their houses or workplaces, why should the internet be any different? People are however expected to implement certain security precautions when dealing with sensitive material. Again, why should the internet be any different
                  afterburn

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                  • #10
                    Re: Can't We All Just Get Along

                    Originally posted by afterburn188 View Post
                    I believe the old saying goes something along the lines of the road to hell is paved with good intentions? The bureaucratic system in place needs to realize that the old techniques are not working and they have to make changes in order to deal with the problems they face today.



                    I think a fair compromise would be to only require that companies follow the feds rules if they're going to connect to a federal network or work on their data. People aren't normally required to abide by security policies for their houses or workplaces, why should the internet be any different? People are however expected to implement certain security precautions when dealing with sensitive material. Again, why should the internet be any different
                    I think you make a good point, I think we as a nation need to re-evaluate how we look at and deal with cyber-security. On the one hand, it is important to keep security decisions concerning companies and individuals in the hands of those companies and individuals, however, as said above, there is a baseline security which has to be kept up with when dealing with any kind of sensitive materials. I think that we need to know where the line is concerning who has to implement what security and in what situations.
                    RUGBY: Picking the fat kids first since 1823

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