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Creating Ag Extension Agent For Cyber

By GovInfoSecurity.com

August 17, 2011

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Eugene H. Spafford, the executive director of Purdue University's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, is calling for the creation of a national cybersecurity extension service.

Such a service would enable anyone dealing with cybersecurity threats to turn to a government agent for help. "Having a cybersecurity extension service, where people could go to get advice on how to protect their systems, how to deal with privacy breaches and break-ins, would be very valuable," Spafford says.

Extension service agents would have access to federal government resources to provide advice and information on best practices. Spafford says a cybersecurity extension service could work in tandem with the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology's efforts to provide detailed guidance on cybersecurity issues.

He compares the service to agriculture extension agents that provide advice to farmers and gardeners. "We have so many people that are falling victims to botnets, viruses, identity theft, and they don't really know where to turn," Spafford says. "The government has some resources that are all available at a centralized location [and] we need to do a better job there pushing education in the system out."

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