Cybersecurity plans will be part of Homeland Security Department

Cybersecurity plans will be part of Homeland Security Department

The administration plans to release its strategy for securing the nation's critical infrastructure in late summer, at the same time the proposed Homeland Security Department is expected to be organized.

'The strategy is more or less on track,' said Paul Kurtz, senior director of the White House Office of Cyber Security. 'We're very much pushing toward getting everything together by July, so we can release it in August or September.'

President Bush hopes to have the new department established by Sept. 11.

The president's proposal last week to reorganize homeland security under a single wide-ranging department may have pushed back the release of the strategy, but 'it's not a delay,' Kurtz said. 'It's a matter of what is the most appropriate time to bring it out. We want to have a coordinated approach.'

Kurtz discussed plans for securing critical infrastructure at the AFCEA TechNet International Conference in Washington. The national strategy is a key objective of the administration, and it is being developed through input from the private sector, which owns and operates the majority of the nation's communications networks.

Kurtz said the new department would have only minor impact on the content of the strategy. Membership of oversight boards could change to reflect reorganization of some agencies, for instance. He called the department a 'step in the right direction,' but said its creation is not a magic bullet. 'The reorganization is not the end. It's the beginning,' he said.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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