NITRD -> Publication Library 

NITRD Publication Library

Cyber Security: A Crisis of Prioritization

Category: PITAC Reports
Available Format: PDF pdf
Pages: 72
View Full Text:

The President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) is appointed by the President to provide independent expert advice on maintaining America’s preeminence in advanced information technology (IT). PITAC members are IT leaders in industry and academia with expertise relevant to critical elements of the national IT infrastructure such as high-performance computing, large-scale networking, and high-assurance software and systems design. The Committee’s studies help guide the Administration’s efforts to accelerate the development and adoption of information technologies vital for American prosperity in the 21st century. Chartered by Congress under the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-194 ) and the Next Generation Internet Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-305) and formally renewed through Presidential Executive Orders, PITAC is a Federally chartered advisory committee operating under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Public Law 92-463) and other Federal laws governing such activities. The PITAC chose cyber security as one of three topics for evaluation. The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy then provided a formal charge, asking PITAC members to concentrate their efforts on the focus, balance, and effectiveness of current Federal cyber security research and development (R&D) activities (see Appendix A). To conduct this examination, PITAC established the Subcommittee on Cyber Security, whose work culminated in this report, Cyber Security: A Crisis of Prioritization. PITAC found that the Nation’s IT infrastructure – integral to national and homeland security and everyday life – is highly vulnerable to attack. While existing technologies can address some vulnerabilities, fundamentally new architectures and technologies are needed to address the larger structural insecurities of an infrastructure developed in a more trusting time when mass cyber attacks were not foreseen. PITAC offers four findings and recommendations on how the Federal government can foster the development of new architectures and technologies to secure the Nation’s IT infrastructure for the 21st century.

Outlined in the Executive Summary and discussed in detail in Chapter 4, the report’s findings and recommendations were developed by PITAC over almost a year of study. The Subcommittee was briefed by cyber security experts in the Federal government, academia, and industry; reviewed the current literature; and obtained public input at PITAC meetings and a town hall meeting and through written submissions (see Appendix B for the Cyber Security Subcommittee Fact-Finding Process). The Subcommittee’s draft findings and recommendations were reviewed by the PITAC on November 19, 2004 and the final report was approved at its January 12, 2005 meeting.