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The Problem With Classifying Math

There is no denying the need to improve cyber security across the nation’s critical infrastructure, but as we can see below, there does not seem to be a big effort to deal with some of the fundamental issues essential to success:

There's a problem facing the Bush administration: It has $30 billion to spend over the next five to seven years to keep the U.S. safe from hackers and cyberspies. But to extend that protection to the nation's critical infrastructure--including banks, telecommunications and transportation--it needs the cooperation of the private sector.

. . . but the disconnect between the private sector and government is a familiar problem, says Howard Schmidt, a former Air Force and DHS official who has also held jobs at eBay and Microsoft. "When I was working with a corporation, I would hear from the government about a new attack pattern, and because it was classified, I wouldn't be able to share it with my IT people," he says. "It's a very real problem."

Corporations are not strangers to information protection, which puts the burden of "responsibility to provide" squarely on the shoulders of the government. It is not that certain targets do not need the protection of classification, but no serious computer network defensive effort of any scale – especially one that is nation-wide – can rely on anything but layered, networked defenses. Hindering the sharing of information that might defend the nation is tantamount to having no program at all.