U.S. IT infrastructure not adequately protected, says IEEE-USA

07/25/2006


Washington, DC— Increased funding for cyber-security research and development is needed because the U.S. information technology infrastructure is highly vulnerable to hackers, terrorists, organized crime syndicates, and natural disasters, says a recent position statement adopted by IEEE-USA . The organization, part of IEEE , the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., seeks to advance public policy interests of IEEE members.

“Because of society’s complete reliance on information technology and cyber networks, all the critical infrastructures and networks are interdependent and interconnected,” said the organization. “A cyber attack on one sector’s infrastructure may have devastating consequences to another sector. U.S. infrastructure is not adequately prepared to defend against such risks.”

The statement noted that nearly every aspect of U.S. life is tied to computers, from air traffic control systems and power grids to financial systems and military cyber networks. Core Internet protocols such as Internet routing, email, and end-user authentication, it added, are at risk of cyber attack.

IEEE-USA recommends Congress and the executive branch work with private industry to:

  • Authorize and appropriate increased and stable funding for cyber-security research;

  • Encourage and support cyber-security technology transfer programs;

  • Facilitate commercialization;

  • Facilitate development and implementation of cyber-security standards; and

  • Support cyber-security education programs.

“Not only has the government traditionally played an important role in financing such efforts,” said the statement, “but IEEE-USA strongly believes that, without the government driving a long-term cyber-security vision, industry will most likely continue to make only incremental advances and improvements based on short-term, market-driven, and adverse risk factors.”

Click here to read the complete position statement.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk

Jeanine Katzel , senior editor





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