The lines between communications technology and information technology (IT) are getting blurrier every day. Chances are that the cell phone you carry around can do a lot more than just make a phone call. It almost certainly has the capability to send a text message; it probably surfs the web; and it can likely pinpoint your location via GPS to get you to the nearest Starbucks.
So as various communications and information technologies become more interdependent, so too does the infrastructure that supports those technologies. Telecommunications networks, cell phone towers, and control centers are just some of the cyber assets that are becoming more and more interwoven everyday.
It’s DHS’ responsibility to coordinate with the private sector, which in large part owns and operates these increasingly seamless networks and systems. We took a big step today toward making sure that we can fulfill our role of being a good partner in the event of a disaster – be it natural or manmade.
This morning, Secretary Napolitano cut the ribbon on the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC). The NCCIC (which we say N-Kick) is a new 24-hour watch and warning center that consolidates many of the Department’s cyber and communications operations centers that respond to emergency incidents.
The NCCIC co-locates the missions and functions of several of the Department’s most important cybersecurity facilities, such as the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), the National Coordinating Center (NCC) and the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) – and ultimately our private sector partners. This groundbreaking center is the result of collaboration of a Joint Industry-Government Tiger Team, the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, and the Government Accountability Office.
The result is one solution: a unified operations center. The NCCIC will help the department detect, prevent, respond, and mitigate disruptions of voice and cyber communications technologies.
That cell phone relies on more technology and networking than ever before. We’re working every day to keep it safe.
To learn more about the DHS’s cybersecurity efforts, visit www.dhs.gov/cyber.