Department of Commerce and White House make important announcement about cybersecurity

Jan 1, 2011 12:03pm

By Michael Kaiser, NCSA Executive Director

While much of the attention this past week is directed to all the new cool gadgets being released at CES that will connect us with the Internet, there was a significant announcement out of the White House and the Department of Commerce that should help us all stay safer and more secure online. Commerce Secretary Locke and President Obama’s Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt announced the creation of a National Program Office to carry out the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC).

In ablog posting Schmidt writes, “We need a cyber world that enables people to validate their identities securely, but with minimal disclosure of information when they’re doing , sensitive transactions (like banking) - and lets them stay anonymous when they’re not (like blogging). We need a vibrant marketplace that provides people with choices among multiple accredited identity providers – both private and public – and choices among multiple credentials.”

At NCSA, we agree that a focused coordinated effort on identity issues is a great move forward. The more trusted the Internet the more benefits we can all reap from it. Cybersecurity is not always about offense and defense. It can be a proactive effort to build a safe and secure platform for all of us to bring the promise of the Internet to fruition.  Collaboration by all stakeholders from government and industry to individual computer users is vital to achieving success.