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FCW : August 30, 2013
20 August 30, 2013 FCW.COM For more than 100 years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has toiled in the background of federal operations, carrying out the nation s business of science. As its website points out, that business includes interests as diverse as nanotechnol- ogy, skyscrapers and jetliners. That tradition endures today, but one key mission is raising the agen- cy s pro le. In his February executive order on cybersecurity, President Barack Obama directed NIST to create a framework that would help the gov- ernment and the private sector better protect networks and information. The latest proposed legislation on cyber- security also focuses on NIST and its role as a leader in securing U.S. assets in cyberspace. To support a mission that is certain to grow in scope and signi cance, the agency launched its National Cyberse- curity Center of Excellence (NCCOE) last year. Located in Rockville, Md., near NIST s Gaithersburg headquar- ters, the center started off as a concept but in the past year has grown into a hive of activity. As a result, NIST will release an initial cybersecurity frame- work in October. Donna Dodson, chief of NIST s Computer Security Division and acting executive director of NCCOE, recently sat down with FCW s Amber Corrin to talk about the center s work and what she hopes to accomplish. Tell us more about NCCOE and what you are doing there. Dodson: The purpose of the center is to help with the broad adoption of cybersecurity tools and technologies that are currently available, to get them in use and get people understanding how to use them throughout the life cycle. We have good technologies available today from the commercial side. How do we maximize the capabilities that are there, and where do we need inno- vation to grow to meet the demands where the technology isn t up to where it should be? That s really the heart and soul of what we re trying to do. How does NCCOE support Obama's executive order, which focuses on a partnership between the public and private sectors? Dodson: The foundation of the center has been on a public/private partner- ship. That is at the core of what we re doing, so we have the IT industry com- ing in as long-term partners with us so that we re using technologies and capabilities that you can go out and purchase, that are built on those stan- dards, best practices and use cases. It s about working with different communi- ties like utilities, nancial, manufactur- ing, health care, transportation and the federal government. It s also important to have that con- versation with not just cybersecurity practitioners, starting with the business requirements rst and then working your way into the cybersecurity plat- form. You have to understand what the business environments are like, and you have to think about the informa- tion, the environment and the users in order to build out cybersecurity in a meaningful way. It sounds as though the center is a way for all those communities to discuss what they need. Dodson: Yes, and to work with them on these business requirements and work with the community as a whole to complete blueprints. Then they can go back and work with their CIO shop, or perhaps they re working with some integrators, and say, "Here s a blueprint of the things that we need to do. Help us in our own environment." How does it t with the creation of a cybersecurity framework? Dodson: Being able to work with the NIST's cyber center moves into high gear FirstPerson Acting Executive Director Donna Dodson describes the mission, priorities and strategy for the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence
August 15, 2013
September 15, 2013