US opens cyber security command centre

The opening of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) marked the culmination of National Cybersecurity Awareness month in the US.

The NCCIC is aimed at improving US national efforts to respond to threats and incidents affecting critical information technology and communications infrastructure.

US Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano said the NCCIC will serve as the "central repository" for the cyber protection efforts of the civilian side of the federal government and its private sector partners.

"Consolidating our cyber and communications operations centers within the NCCIC will enhance our ability to effectively mitigate risks and respond to threats", she said.

The NCCIC combines the public-private US Computer Emergency Readiness Team and the National Coordinating Center for Telecommunications.

The NCCIC will also integrate the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC), which co-ordinates operations among the six largest federal cyber centers.

Despite the consolidation, there is still no single agency in charge of government cybersecurity or national cybersecurity advisor or cyber czar reporting directly to the president.

Shortly after taking office, president Barack Obama said cybersecurity was a top priority and announced in May that he would appoint a cyber czar.

Although the US president has not yet named the cyber czar, the 2010 Homeland Security Act that he signed last week included $397m for cybersecurity.

This article first appeared in Computer Weekly.

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