via PC World
The U.S. needs a cybersecurity emergency response capability to help businesses under major attacks, a U.S. senator said Monday.
“Who do you call if your CIO is overwhelmed, if you’re a local bank or utility?” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said during a forum on cybersecurity at the University of Rhode Island (URI). “How can we preposition defenses for our critical infrastructure, since these attacks come at the speed of light?”
Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, didn’t lay out details of a cybersecurity emergency response unit, but he said he hopes the U.S. Senate will pass a comprehensive cybersecurity bill this year.
Whitehouse also called for the U.S. to develop “rules of the road” for Internet use. While unsafe cars are not allowed on highways, no one stops unsafe computers from connecting to the Internet, he said during the URI webcast.
“We allow computers dripping with malware and enslaved to botnets unrestricted access on most of the information highway,” he added.
Coordinated cyber-attacks could shut down the U.S. power grid, stock exchanges and the Internet, added General Keith Alexander, director of the U.S. National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command.
Alexander was responding to an audience member who asked him what was the worst that could happen if several nations banded together to attack U.S. cyberspace. The power grid and Internet are “vulnerable,” he said.