New Program Helps Collect and Compare Data

The National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) of the Department of Homeland Security is working on an automated process for collecting, comparing, analyzing and sharing computer security information across the federal government.

Dubbed the Einstein pilot project, the goal of the program is to improve awareness of and protection against cyber attacks on federal information networks. The NCSD will analyze network and gateway traffic flow patterns, but will not monitor government systems or look inside networks. The public/private U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) will handle the analyses.

Federal Aviation Administration CIO Daniel Mehan says the purpose of Einstein is to "assist in creating near-real-time information-sharing that can ultimately be leveraged to protect the entire national infrastructure from cyber threat."

An official from the Homeland Security Inspector General's Office says the initiative is in line with the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, and that it might uncover cyber threats not previously noticed.

It is hoped that analysis of attacks can establish network flow and determine patterns that take the entire federal government into account, not just a single agency.

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