The US government has announced that it will create a new centre dedicated to spotting and fighting cyber threats in response to the wave of attacks on US industry.
The new Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTTIC) was announced by Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism.
She said that the centre will coordinate the nation’s response to cyber threats and share this information as widely as possible, something that has been lacking so far.
“Currently, no single government entity is responsible for producing coordinated cyber threat assessments," she said. "The CTIIC is intended to fill these gaps."
Monaco explained that creating the CTIIC is a vital response to the rising tide of cyber threats and attacks that have hit numerous US corporations.
The centre is designed to share information in a more timely and helpful way so that companies can ready their defences against any new threats.
“To the private sector, we’ve made it clear that we will work together. We’re not going to bottle up our intelligence. If we have information about a significant threat to a business, we’re going to do our utmost to share it,” Monaco said.
As evidence of this new strategy, Monaco said that the government pushed out information and malware signatures to the private sector within 24 hours of hearing about the Sony Pictures Entertainment attack.
She stressed the importance of private firms sharing information to enable the centre to fufill its brief.
“We want this flow of information to go both ways. The private sector has vital information we don’t always see unless they share it with us, and the government has a unique capacity to integrate information about threats, including non-cyber sources, to create the best possible picture to secure all of our networks,” she said.
Monaco also moved to reassure the public about the CTTIC's function by saying that it "will not collect intelligence" but will "analyse and integrate information already collected under existing authorities".
The announcement of the CTTIC was welcomed by the chief technology officer of security company Bit9, Harry Sverdlove, who said in a blog post that it will make it easier for companies to share news on an attack.
"The formation of a new agency dedicated to cyber threats, working collaboratively with the other federal agencies, can be a good thing if it provides a single place for companies to turn when faced with cyber crime, espionage or even cyber terrorism."
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