America Under Attack
Record numbers of war protesters and computer hackers are assaulting United States government (.gov) and military (.mil) Websites "in digital retaliation" for the war in Iraq, according to Government Computer News (www.gcn.com), a national technology newspaper focused on government agencies. Presidential Cybersecurity Adviser Howard A. Schmidt said that such attacks are not unexpected under present circumstances. "Headline issues bring out people who want to attack systems," Schmidt said. He explained that some attackers are merely political activists expressing their point of view^; others, however, may be looking for sensitive or mission-critical data. In either case, the attacks have set off a ripple effect within major U.S. companies, leading them to initiate security checks of their own information technology (IT) systems in case of attack.
"Up to 90% of the world's Mainframes are connected to the Internet, which is the vehicle for these attacks," said Ronn Bailey, CEO/CTO of Vanguard Integrity Professionals. "As nearly all critical applications reside on the Mainframe this poses a serious threat to both Government agencies and major corporations."
Throughout America, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Security Officers (CSOs) are closely scrutinizing their companies' IT security and business continuity policies and plans. Major cyberattacks against U.S. military and government targets have already been reported, and it is only a matter of time before corporate targets are attacked.
In Nov. 2002, Mr. Bailey was invited to the White House to present information on omissions he had identified in the "Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Plan" to Dick Clarke, at that time a Presidential Security Adviser. After a successful briefing, Bailey was asked to help draft policy for inclusion in the "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace". Many of Bailey's findings and recommendations relative to mainframe security were included in the Cyberspace Security Committee's final report and were incorporated into the version signed by President Bush.
According to a report released by Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner, Inc., the biggest threat will come from "politically motivated, low-level cyberattacks" aimed at "targets of opportunity." The Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies are monitoring "the Internet for signs of a potential terrorist attack, cyberterrorism, hacking and state-sponsored information warfare," a Homeland Security statement said.
The Gilmore Commission, a congressionally appointed panel, called the draft strategy for securing cyberspace released by the Bush administration in late 2002, "a small step" in the right direction. But the panel also pointed to what it considers to be flaws. The panel criticized the government for separating cybersecurity from the physical aspects of critical infrastructure protection, and for failing to hold agency heads responsible for internal cybersecurity lapses. "There are little or no consequences for federal government agencies and officials who do not take prudent steps to improve cybersecurity," the report claimed.
Vanguard Integrity Professionals addresses these issues and provides a very secure and prudent solution for these agencies and officials. Vanguard offers a unique enterprise security solution designed to eliminate deficiencies in an organization or agency's security. Using IBM Security Server RACF®, Vanguard ez/Security on Demand features multiple components that greatly enhance security by linking multi-platform systems and peripheral devices directly to RACF in z/OS-based mainframes.
Vanguard Integrity Professionals is an authorized General Services Administration (GSA) government vendor. Any federal government agency with information technology security requirements can purchase Vanguard Administrator(TM), Advisor(TM), Analyzer(TM), Enforcer(TM), and ez/VisualConsole(TM) as individual components, or as a single software security solution on contract GS-35F-006YN. The component architecture of Vanguards software and the interoperability of its components perfectly align with the federal government's desire to integrate its systems, and the Vanguard Enterprise Security Expo & RACF User's Training is scheduled for July 13 - 17 in Orlando, FL. Keynoting the event this year will be former Presidential Advisor Richard "Dick" Clarke.
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