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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke: Cybersecurity ultimately is built on confidence

locke1Collaborating with colleagues throughout government and industry, the Department of Commerce is making significant progress in helping securing the Internet, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said.

Locke, who among other top officials attended a cybersecurity briefing held Wednesday at the White House, said while government cannot engineer precise technology solutions, it has to provide policy framework for innovation and “help set the standards and rules of the road that will enable us to strengthen the connective tissue of the Internet.”

Locke said cybersecurity ultimately is built on confidence: Consumers need confidence that their identity and their personal information will be secure online; businesses need confidence that their intellectual property will not be stolen; and government agencies and military need confidence that trade, technology and military secrets are safe from adversaries.

“And let’s be blunt — because the Internet was initially designed for convenience and reliability, instead of with security as a top priority, we are fighting an uphill battle,” the secretary said. “But I am proud to say that the Commerce Department — working closely with our colleagues throughout the administration and in the private sector — is making significant progress in helping the Internet become more robust and secure.”

One of the Commerce Department’s most important accomplishments is the deployment of DNSSEC at the root of the Domain Name System, an action that will give a “tamper proof seal” to the address book of the Internet, Locke said.

Commerce is also working with the National Security Agency to help standardize cybersecurity controls across national security systems and the rest of the executive branch, and helping the Department of Defense to better manage cybersecurity risks stemming from an insecure global supply chain. In the private sector, the department is working on identifying and reducing vulnerabilities for new devices like smartphones. Additionally, Commerce has launched an Internet Policy Task Force to develop cybersecurity policy and policy recommendations on other critical Internet issues involving privacy, copyright and international e-commerce, Locke said.

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