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More trust needed to secure critical infrastructure, expert says

Oct. 3, 2013 - 01:28PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
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The government must do better at forging more trusting partnerships with industry if it wishes to improve cybersecurity that protects the nation’s critical infrastructure, according to former federal and industry officials.

Howard Schmidt, a former White House cybersecurity coordinator, said at a cybersecurity event sponsored by the Washington Post Thursday that many industries have already created their own cybersecurity protection measures and do not appreciate government mandates that force them to alter those systems.

“So the government almost becomes the enemy there, and the country loses,” Schmidt said.

By forming better working relationships with industry, agencies can build trust with companies that will speed up reporting time and foster greater cooperation, he said.

“It shows that just because they tell you something, it’s not going be on the front page of the Washington Post the next day,” Schmidt said.

Ellen Richey, the chief enterprise risk officer at VISA Inc., said that many customers worry about massive federal investigations, media coverage and customer reactions in the wake of cyber attacks and so are slower to report breaches when they happen.

“A big frustration for us is that they are worried about this pile on,” she said.

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