The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans Tuesday to streamline their cybersecurity capabilities to better protect the nation’s networks.
Late last month, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates signed an agreement that formalizes processes for the two agencies to work together to protect U.S. networks and critical infrastructure.
The agreement outlines a framework whereby the agencies will provide cybersecurity support to one another, and was intended to improve collaboration as the two departments carry out their respective cybersecurity missions.
The new partnership appears to be part of an effort to move past previous agency turf wars.
Last March, for example, Rod Beckstrom resigned from his position as director of the DHS’ National Cyber Security Center, citing insufficient funding and support. In his letter of resignation to Napolitano, Beckstrom said the DHS’s cybersecurity efforts are “controlled” by the NSA.
Meanwhile, it is not uncommon for government departments and agencies to enter into formal agreements to work together on certain issues and to “swap” employees to improve synchronization, Marcus Sachs, director of the SANS Internet Storm Center, told SCMagazineUS.com on Thursday.
This agreement is particularly important because the DoD and DHS have a joint mission to protect the United States in cyberspace, he said.