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GAO reports on critical infrastructure protection and cybersecurity

The US GAO has issued a report into critical infrastructure protection and the growing importance of cybersecurity in this area.

Highlights of ‘Cybersecurity: Continued Attention Needed to Protect Our Nation's Critical Infrastructure’ include:

- Interconnectivity poses significant risks to the government's and the nation's computer systems, and to the critical infrastructures they support.

- Because most of the critical infrastructure is owned by the private sector, establishing effective public-private partnerships is essential to securing them from pervasive cyber-based threats.

- The threats to systems supporting critical infrastructures are evolving and growing and the interconnectivity between information systems, the Internet, and other infrastructures can amplify the impact of these threats, potentially affecting the operations of critical infrastructure, the security of sensitive information, and the flow of commerce.

- Despite recent actions taken, a number of significant challenges remain to enhancing the security of cyber-reliant critical infrastructures, such as (1) implementing actions recommended by the president's cybersecurity policy review; (2) updating the national strategy for securing the information and communications infrastructure; (3) reassessing DHS's planning approach to critical infrastructure protection; (4) strengthening public-private partnerships, particularly for information sharing; (5) enhancing the national capability for cyber warning and analysis; (6) addressing global aspects of cybersecurity and governance; and (7)securing the modernized electricity grid (the smart grid).

Obtain the full report from http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-865T

•Date: 27th July 2011 • Region: US •Type: Article • Topic: Critical infrastructure protection

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