DHS Secretary, Bank Chiefs Confer on IT Security

Industry Leaders Seek 'Actionable Intelligence' from Feds Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano discussed with industry leaders over the weekend some ways to protect the nation's financial information system from cyber attacks.

"The financial institutions of this country are part of our bedrock infrastructure," Napolitano told Bloomberg Television. "They need to be protected. We need to be able to protect them."

Napolitano declined to identify with whom she met, but said the discussions focused on corporate needs, obstacles the sector faces and global threats. She said the federal government is concerned about the use of computer systems to commit fraud or interfere with infrastructure.

In the interview, Napolitano said the financial leaders want the government to provide them with "actionable intelligence," noting that larger banks and brokerages have "a pretty robust information-sharing system amongst them" about cybersecurity.

"We want to make sure that medium-, small-size local financial institutions are properly looped in and that they have a point of contact in the Department of Homeland Security either to report intrusions or prevent intrusions," she said.

The DHS secretary also said she expects many Americans to be vaccinated against H1N1, commonly referred to as the swine flu, when the vaccine becomes widely available.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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