via Gov Info Security
More of a passing thought than an actual proposal, a former director of national intelligence suggested United States leaders could create a Department of Cyber to address cyber threats the nation faces. But before the idea could set in, Michael McConnell said he had second thoughts.
His comments came Wednesday during a panel discussion entitled Cyberwar, Cybersecurity and the Challenges Ahead at the RSA 2011 IT security conference, as he responded to a question from moderator James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies on how cyber threats can be treated differently.
McConnell compared a possible Cyber Department to the Department of Energy, created in 1977 when the United States faced an energy crisis. Today, he said, executive branch leaders recognizes the significance of information technology and its potential vulnerabilities. “What is it that we need to mitigate that? McConnell asked. “Do we go as far as creating a Department of Cyber? Maybe that’s a stretch too far.” But he said citizens needs to have informed conversations about how best to address cyber threats. “Please do it before we have this catastrophic event,” McConnell said.