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US to launch cybersecurity agency

The US is creating a new cybersecurity agency called the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC) that will act as a “dot connector” for new cyber threats and existing federal agencies, according to a senior Obama administration official.

The creation comes after recent hacking attacks against Sony Pictures, Target, and even the federal government itself. Speaking at the Wilson Center on Tuesday, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and counterterrorism Lisa Monaco announced the agency’s creation, stating that “we are at a transformational moment in the evolution of the cyber threat.”

Lance Cottrell, chief scientist at cybersecurity firm Ntrepid, said: “Right now the responsibility for cyber security is distributed between the NSA, CIA, FBI, and DHS, among others. When we see five different organisations with overlapping and conflicting responsibility for an issue, we often respond by saying that there should be one new organisation which can take control and coordinate the others.” He added, stating that the unfortunate reality is that you often wind up having six different organisations with overlapping and conflicting responsibilities.

He said that through designing our systems and networks to be robust even in the face of vulnerability, it’s possible that damage could be minimal. This would mean attacks would have to be quickly detected and contained.

Michele Borovac, vice president at cloud control company HyTrust, said that the creation of the CTIIC is a necessary step. “Bringing disparate organisations together is critical so that information can be shared more easily among ‘the good guys,’” she said, adding that the agency will see success if it can tap the brains of leading cybersecurity exerts.