Industry responds to DHS' throwing down cybersecurity gauntlet

SANTA CLARA, Calif.'An industry group has unveiled a new tool to help top executives rate their companies' systems security soundness.

The announcement yesterday at the Homeland Security Department's National Cyber Security Summit followed challenges from DHS officials that industry improve cybersecurity. (Click for Dec. 3 story)

TechNet, an association of technology company chiefs, said the new Corporate Information Security Evaluation will let chief executive officials measure their organizations' cybersecurity readiness.

Even the least technically savvy executives can use the evaluation, which requires officials to answer roughly 80 questions, to educate themselves about security weaknesses and strengths in their organizations, TechNet president Rick White said.

'DHS has challenged all of us to rise to the task,' he said. 'We have to raise cybersecurity to the appropriate level of visibility in corporations and that's what the CEO evaluation tool is all about.'

The CEO survey is the first step in the development of an early warning system that will let DHS effectively gauge threat levels and preparedness, said Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America.

'We have been lacking the ability to measure cybersecurity threats in the country as a whole and within individual companies,' he said. 'IT security is similar to a public health problem: If we are not all doing better, we are all doing worse.'

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