Outgoing DHS chief Napolitano to successor: "You will need a large bottle of Advil"

Cybersecurity issues and plenty of other problems will continue to grow, Napolitano says in “Open Letter to My Successor” speech

napolitano
The outgoing Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano told a gathering at the  at the National Press Club this week that the United States will among other security challenges - "face a major cyber event that will have a serious effect on our lives, our economy, and the everyday functioning of our society."

Nice words her potential replacement, who hasn't been named yet, will love to hear no doubt.

[In the news: Old electronics don't die, they pile up]

She continued with what she called an "Open Letter to My Successor," by saying "while we have built systems, protections and a framework to identify attacks and intrusions, share information with the private sector and across the government, and develop plans and capabilities to mitigate the damage, more must be done, and must be done quickly. "

[RELATED: DHS chief Napolitano: Algorithms a big key in solving security, Big Data puzzle]

I fact some of the security systems Napolitano referred to were on display last week as the DHS Science and Technology Directorate Cybersecurity Division hosted a Transition-to-Practice Technology Demonstration Day for investors, integrators and IT companies to view and new cybersecurity technologies, developed by the Department of Energy's National Laboratories.

The technologies included:

  • Path Scan - an intrusion-detection system that thwarts cyber-attacks by detecting anomalous network-hopping activity, which is seen as hackers traverse a network looking for key resources

 •Code Seal - trust anchors that encrypt computer activities in untrusted environments.

 •Net_Mapper/Everest - a network mapping and visualization tool.

 •MLSTONES - a biology based malware and event analysis forensic tool that tags and sequences events looking for similarities.

 •Hone - a network traffic analyzer.

 •Hyperion/FX - a malware detection and software assurance tool.

 •Choreographer - a moving target defense tool that detects when DNS connections are bypassed.

 •USB ARM - a removable media (USB, DVD, CD-ROM, etc) policy enforcement tool that prevents removable media from mounting into a computer's file systems.

Beyond cyber security issues, Napolitano said her successor would also need to prepare for the increasing likelihood of more weather-related events of a more severe nature as a result of climate change and continue to build the capacity to respond to potential disasters in far flung regions of the country that could occur at the same time.

She went on: "You will need to forge strong relationships with all of our partners, including Congress, to make sure DHS has the resources it needs to meet our responsibilities to the American people.  You will need to continue our work to move to a more risk-based, intelligence-driven security system, as we have done at our airports, with programs like TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry, which expedite known travelers through security and customs.  You will need to support science and technology research, building on the more than $2.2 billion we have invested over the past four and a half years to strengthen chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear security measures. You will need to continue to ensure the security of key government leaders and events of national significance."

And finally:  "You will need a large bottle of Advil."

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