New NIPC director prefers prevention to prosecution

New NIPC director prefers prevention to prosecution

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

APRIL 5—The new director of the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center said he would rather prevent cyberattacks than throw people in jail after they've done harm.

Ronald L. Dick, who recently took over leadership of the interagency group [see story at www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/3870-1.html], spoke last week at the National High-Performance Computing and Communications Council's annual conference in Newport, R.I.

NIPC usually uses law enforcement tactics such as search warrants and wiretapping to hunt cyberoffenders, Dick said. But he also emphasized preventive measures.

Through its InfraGard partnership with companies and universities [see story at www.gcn.com/vol20_no7/news/3923-1.html], for example, NIPC shares information that is sensitive but not classified, Dick said. Program officials check the references of newcomers to member organizations to make sure they're not malicious hackers.

The NIPC director urged conference attendees to follow good security practices such as hiring a qualified systems administrator, applying patches as they come out, using firewalls and encryption and maintaining backups of the original operating system in case of corruption.

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