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Napolitano warns large-scale cyberattack on US is inevitable

August 27, 2013

Napolitano warns large-scale cyberattack on US is inevitable

Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned her successor on  Tuesday to move quickly to prepare for an inevitable large-scale cyberattack  against the United States.

Napolitano, delivering her farewell address at the National Press Club, said  her successor should move fast to strengthen the nation’s cyber defenses.

“Our country will, at some point,  face a major cyber event that will have a serious effect on our lives, our  economy and the everyday functioning of our society,” said Napolitano.

 

“While we have built systems, protections and a framework to identify attacks  and intrusions, share information with the private sector and across government,  and develop plans and capabilities to mitigate the damage, more must be done,  and quickly.”

Napolitano said that while the terrorist threat to the country has not been  eliminated, the ability for the U.S. to thwart attacks rapidly increases with  each uncovered plot.

“For every attack we experience, every threat we face and every piece of  intelligence we come across, we learn; we assess our preparations and  capabilities; we make changes; we become more flexible in the actions we take;  and we get stronger and more nimble,” said Napolitano, who is leaving her post  to become the head of the University of California school system.

As evidence, she pointed to the country’s response to the bombing at the  Boston Marathon earlier this year and the stronger local and state relationships  that have been forged while she has led the department.

Napolitano also lauded the department’s move — under direction from President  Obama — to allow children brought to the U.S. illegally to remain in the  country.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process has allowed 430,000  young people to stay in the United States.

Napolitano stressed that the prosecutorial discretion, which many Republicans  have boisterously objected to, has made the country’s immigration system more  sound, but that comprehensive legislation still needs to be passed.

Obama has not weighed in on who Napolitano’s successor will be, but several  names have been floated as strong contenders. Chief among them is New York City  Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who has remained mum about whether he’s been in  talks about the post.

Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), who headed the Senate Homeland  Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which played a key role in creating  the department, has also been suggested for the post, as have former Deputy  Secretary Jane Lute and Bill Bratton, the former head of police for Boston, Los  Angeles, and New York City.

While secretary, Napolitano has remained relatively unscathed by  congressional investigations and potential scandals within the department. Many  Republicans, though they disagree with some of her policy decisions, have  applauded her tenure in the demanding position, calling attention to the  “thankless” nature of her job.

Only 10 years old, the Department of Homeland Security is the largest agency  in the country, encompassing a wide range of federal responsibilities and  offices that range from immigration and border enforcement to port and aviation  security.

Napolitano said it was imperative that her future successor continues to  “move to a more risk-based, intelligence-driven security system” with the  nation’s approach to aviation security.

She also highlighted chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security  measures; securing large-scale public events, such as the Inauguration and the  national party conventions; and the Coast Guard, as areas that will need  continued attention under the department’s new leadership.

Credit To: Jordy Yager / The Hill

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/318937-napolitano-warns-large-scale-cyber-attack-on-us-is-inevitable?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

 

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