Computer Crime Research Center

U.S. Issues National Strategy to Protect Cyberspace

The White House has issued a National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, which identifies steps that government, private companies, and individuals can take to protect the information infrastructure -- collectively labeled cyberspace -- that is critical to the security and well-being of the United States.

These infrastructure areas include banking and finance, insurance, chemicals, oil and gas, electricity, law enforcement, higher education, transportation, information technology and telecommunications, and water.

The report, issued February 14, 2003, identifies three strategic goals -- preventing cyber attacks against America's critical infrastructure, reducing national vulnerability to such attacks, and minimizing damage and recovery time if cyber attacks do occur.

It also lists a number of initiatives to protect national information systems. Among them: strengthening law enforcement in the cyberspace realm, identifying vulnerabilities in infrastructure, improving Internet procedures and digital controls, reducing software weaknesses, increasing physical security, and setting an agenda for cybersecurity research and development.

The National Strategy warns that making cyberspace secure is a difficult challenge that "requires coordinated and focused effort from our entire society -- the federal government, state and local governments, the private sector, and the American people."

Nevertheless, the report concludes, "For the foreseeable future two things will be true: America will rely upon cyberspace and the federal government will seek a continuing broad partnership with the private sector to develop, implement, and refine a National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace."


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