Last week, the federal government announced that it is launching an expansive program dubbed “Perfect Citizen” to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running critical infrastructure such as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants. The program will deploy a set of sensors in the computer networks of America’s most critical infrastructure sites, which would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack. The program will be spearheaded by the National Security Agency (NSA), the government’s chief eavesdropping agency.
The Bay Area Council has worked over the past year to create policies to address the ever increasing risk and cost of cyber attacks. In addition, the Council formed a Cyber Security Committee – consisting mainly of CIO and CISO-level professionals from our member companies – that takes policy priorities to elected-officials in Washington and Sacramento.
In a May 2009 speech, President Obama said that cyber attacks have cost Americans $8 billion in the last two years.
In response to last week’s announcement, Bay Area Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman made the following statement regarding the new federal program:
“Cyber attacks pose a very real and very expensive threat to our government, businesses and economy. Last week’s announcement by the federal government is a step in the right direction to heighten awareness of this important topic. As the United States relies more and more on the internet and broadband technology, we need to do everything in our power to prevent hackers and cyber-terrorists from gaining access to our critical infrastructure. However, the Bay Area Council believes it is imperative that the business community is included in the creation of new policies. With all of the expertise and resources that our tech community has to offer, this issue requires us to work together to collaboratively craft a solution that protects our nation and economy.”