U.S. Internet security plan revamped

    Date11 Feb 2010
    Posted ByAlex
    The U.S. government is shifting its strategy for defending federal networks against a rising tide of hacking attacks launched by foreign governments and criminals. Instead of focusing on consolidating external Internet connections that civilian agencies operate -- which number in the thousands -- the Office of Management and Budget is directing agencies to deploy a standard set of security tools and processes on all of their Internet connections. The shift represents a new direction for the federal Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) Initiative, which was launched by the Bush administration in November 2007.

    The Bush administration's original goal was to reduce the number of external Internet connections operated by civilian agencies from more than 8,000 down to 50. Standard security software -- including antivirus, firewall, intrusion detection and traffic monitoring -- was to be deployed on the remaining connections.

    The Obama administration has changed the emphasis of the TIC Initiative, focusing more on security controls than on network consolidation.

    "Despite the whole TIC Initiative, there are probably as many points of Internet connection as there used to be," says Diana Gowen, senior vice president of Qwest Government Services. "The new administration is less concerned with the number, and more concerned about getting them protected."

    Gowen pointed out that the Defense Department has an ongoing procurement to purchase more than 4,000 Internet connections worldwide. "So clearly the focus isn't on consolidation," she adds.

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