Cyber experts at the Homeland Defense Symposium at The Broadmoor today said they believe the presence of the military and the U.S. Olympic Committee make Colorado Springs a target for cyber attacks – which should make it a prime location for a cyber security center.
As of now, the Department of Homeland Security plans to establish a central cyber security center in Washington, D.C. But some experts argue decentralizing the centers into as many as eight regional locations makes more sense.
“We need to more broadly, more deeply implement the national plan,” said panel chairman Doug Depeppe, a former Army intelligence officer and co-founder of a cyber security company, Trust Anchor.. “We cannot have a plan that is kept in Washington, D.C.”
Colorado Springs would benefit from a cyber center in a number of ways:
But, it’s the military that might benefit the most, DePeppe said.
With viruses and worms that attack utility systems, an attack at Colorado Springs Utilities could halt business at the U.S. Space Command, U.S. Northern Command, the Missile Defense Agency and at Fort Carson’s military missions.
“That kind of threat here in Colorado Springs could be devastating,” he said. “Not only to Colorado Springs Utilities, but to the entire nation. We have many military organizations here. Attacking utilities could bring them down, harming the nation.”
The regional approach means that the community could identify key resources to receive the needed protection.
Not all the panelists like the idea. Scott Algeier, executive director of the Information Technology-Information Sharing and Analysis Center, said the solutions were already national.
“We already have regional solutions,” he said. “Companies, the private sector, are doing it every day. Leaders are planning, every day, to combat the efforts of cyber criminals.”
He believes that Washington should act as a clearing house of information on how to combat malware and other attacks. That way, both public and private entities would have access to the latest information.
Seth Kulakow, government relations manager for Inceptara LLC, said simply having the information isn’t enough.
“The hub can’t be solely technical, informational sharing strategies,” he said. “It has to address risk. It should have training then, outreach. When someone discovers a problem, they can call the regional center.”
Other centers, at least under this plan, would be in California, Washington state, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Georgia and New Hampshire – effectively blanketing the nation.