(National Sentinel) Cyber war: An industry advisory panel has issued a new report warning of a “cyber 9/11” if federal agencies and the private sector do not move more quickly to co-develop better cyber protections for critical national infrastructure.

As reported by NextGov, U.S. infrastructure is in “a pre-9/11 moment” when it comes to cyber security and time is running short to shore up its cyber defenses:

If government and industry don’t dramatically boost their efforts to protect critical infrastructure, such as the financial system or electric grids, they risk missing a “narrow and fleeting window of opportunity before a watershed, 9/11-level cyberattack,” according to a report approved by the Homeland Security Department’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council.

To stave off and prepare for such an attack, government and industry must create segregated and highly secure communication networks that are used solely for critical command and control systems, the NIAC report authors said.

The government should also dramatically ease the process for sharing cyber threat information between industry and government, the report said.

That includes more rapidly declassifying cyber threat information gathered by intelligence agencies so it can be shared broadly throughout critical infrastructure sectors and speeding up the process for granting security clearances to industry cyber leaders so they can review cyber threat information classified at the secret and top-secret levels.

Ideally, each critical infrastructure facility should have at least two employees cleared at the top level, said NIAC member Robert Carr, chief executive of Heartland Payment Systems and a co-chair of the report.

The report was based on reviewing hundreds of previous studies plus interviews with 38 cyber experts, who were mostly in the financial services and electricity sectors.

Truth be told, it probably will take a “cyber 9/11” to get government and industry to collaborate on the level necessary to protect critical infrastructure from the next attack.

Meantime, don’t forget to stock up on some beans, bullets, and bandages. You’re liable to need them.

Advertising disclaimer: Click here

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x