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Feds Launch Cyber Security Guidelines For US Infrastructure Providers

The White House released the first version of its cyber security framework for protecting critical infrastructure. But critics say these voluntary guidelines enshrine the status quo.

The White House on Wednesday released the first version of its cyber security framework for protecting critical infrastructure. It's a catalog of industry best-practices and standards that creates a voluntary template for companies to use in developing better security programs.

The Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity enables organizations -- regardless of size, degree of cybersecurity risk, or cybersecurity sophistication -- to apply the principles and best-practices of risk management to improving the security and resilience of critical infrastructure," the White House said in a statement.

[Banks, and third parties they work with, face a dizzying array of security attacks as never before: No One Solution In The Cybersecurity War]

Although the document was hailed by administration officials as a "major turning point" in cybersecurity, it contains little that is revolutionary or even new. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, working with the Homeland Security Department and industry stakeholders, has compiled a set of known, publicly vetted standards that can be applied to identify, protect from, detect, respond to, and recover from risks.

The framework is technology-neutral and does not specify tools or applications to be used. Choices of technology are left to the user in addressing each category of risk management.

[Read the complete article at InformationWeek.]

William Jackson is a technology writer based in Washington, D.C. He has been a journalist for more than 35 years, most recently covering the $80 billion federal government IT sector for Government Computer News. His coverage has ranged from architecture to international ... View Full Bio

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