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Dhs ­rged to Bolster Cyber Infrastructure Security

By Information Week

October 29, 2010

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A new U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report says the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not doing enough to ensure that critical infrastructure such as power grids and telecommunications networks will continue to operate in the event of a disaster.

The GAO report says DHS has not properly trained its Protective Security Advisors (PSAs) to articulate their responsibilities in relation to resiliency issues. PSAs are tasked with helping the owners of infrastructure and serving as mediators between them and DHS and other local, state, and federal government agencies. In addition, the GAO report says DHS faces difficulties in developing resiliency strategies for the various networks it is charged with protecting.

The report includes several recommendations for DHS, such as developing resiliency performance measures and updating its guidelines for PSAs in order to make it easier to ensure that vital infrastructure will hold up in the wake of a disaster. The report also urges DHS to develop a better approach to disseminating resiliency information and recommendations. DHS says it is working to implement some of GAO's recommendations.

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