FBI unveils Next Generation Cyber Initiative

The FBI is doing its part in combating national security threats. Just last week the FBI’s Cyber Crime Division announced its latest program. Deemed the “Next Generation Cyber Initiative,” this program is designed to enable an advanced rapid response to isolate and address cyber threats. (See Note 1).

The team is made up of specially selected and highly trained computer scientists. Working around the clock these specialists can respond to issues any time of the day or night. Any findings can be immediately sent to the FBI’s Cyber Division for review and dissemination to other agencies. (See Note 2). The main goal is to identify problems and identify the source and motivation behind the particular attack. (See Note 3). The target is criminals, spies, terrorists, and hackers attempting to compromise national security. (See Note 4).

This project has been in the works for over a year. (See Note 1). It is part of the efforts to adapt the FBI’s Cyber Division to the needs posed by today’s highly sophisticated cyber threats. (See Note 3). The FBI is also expanding its resources and adding personnel.

Proactive efforts to strengthen national security against cyber threats provide a significant step in the right direction. Threats from cyber space are present around the clock and having a dedicated team to combat these threats and coordinate appropriate responses is paramount to keeping the country safe. Investments of money, personnel, and time into projects such as this are worthwhile. Expanding currently available resources and facilitating greater collaboration efforts can only help the situation. The FBI is taking appropriate steps. So why is it that the country still lacks a unified and mandatory Cyber Security Act?

While an executive order is in the works by the current Obama administration, further delays only create a bigger gap for hackers to continue. Not to mention that a new president could put the current executive order on hold indefinitely much like Congress’ deathblow to the Cyber Security Act over the summer. (See Note 5). Efforts like those being taken by the FBI could be much more effective if conducted against a backdrop of a mandatory nation-wide Cyber Security Act. Until then, actions by individual government agencies can accomplish only so much.

It is time for the United States to take action. Why efforts continue to be delayed makes no sense. Sitting by merely talking about change does nothing if those words are never translated into actual change. We cannot continue to remain idle. In today’s age of advanced technology, guarding against cyber threats should be a top policy concern. Large-scale action needs to be taken. When it is national security at stake, proactive and pre-emptive approaches make more sense. A national policy and further efforts such as those taken by the FBI should be replicated and expanded across the country. There is just too much to lose for inaction to continue. Time will tell how the U.S. measures up in the cyber security wars.

For additional information please email Ian N. Friedman, Esq., Friedman & Frey, L.L.C., at ifriedman@faflegal.com or visit www.faflegal.com.

1. Danielle Walker, FBI Rolls Out Round-the-clock Cyber Crime Team, SCMAGAZINE.COM (2012), http://www.scmagazine.com/fbi-rolls-out-round-the-clock-cyber-crime-team….

2. Aliya Sternstein, FBI Starts New Initiative to Name Hackers, NEXTGOV.COM (2012), http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2012/10/fbi-starts-new-initiative-n….

3. J. Nocholas Hoover, FBI Expands Cybercrime Division, INFORMATIONWEEK.COM (2012), http://www.informationweek.com/government/security/fbi-expands-cybercrim….

4. Podcast, FBI.GOV (2012), http://www.fbi.gov/news/podcasts/thisweek/next-generation-cyber.mp3/view.

5. Ian N. Friedman, Cyber Security Act fails in Senate: Yet even U.S. military admits vulnerability, EXAMINER.COM (2012), http://www.examiner.com/article/cyber-security-act-fails-senate-yet-even….

From the Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/article/national-cyber-security-fbi-unveils-next-generation-cyber-initiative