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Calling it a “Blueprint for a Secure Cyber Future,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched its cyber security strategy.

The framework aims to help it better use existing capabilities and promote technological advances that make government, the private sector and the general public more resilient online, said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

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The strategy document focuses on two core areas of DHS’ cyber mission: Protecting critical information infrastructure and strengthening the broader cyber ecosystem.

According to the blueprint, DHS will protect critical information infrastructure by reducing exposure to cyber risk, ensuring priority response and recovery, maintaining shared situational awareness and increasing resilience.

Cyber Security

As part of that goal, DHS will design, deploy and operate the National Cybersecurity Protection System. It will also develop incident reporting guidelines, issue alerts regarding significant threats or incidents, and run the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, according to the plan.

DHS will also maintain the National Cyber Incident Response Plan; lead, integrate and coordinate critical infrastructure protection; and lead enterprise-wide efforts to secure systems across federal civilian agencies and departments.

The other half of DHS responsibilities under the plan relate to four goals for strengthening the cyber ecosystem. The strategy says DHS aims to empower individuals and organizations to operate securely; make and use more trustworthy cyber protocols, products, services configurations and architectures; build collaborative communities; and establish transparent processes.

DHS will take on a more active role with education, and research and development. Implementing the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education will fall under DHS’ purview, according to the plan. It will also work with the Defense Department and research agencies to develop cyber security capabilities.

The blueprint says DHS will “align” its activities to the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, “including further alignment with the Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management Roadmap.” It will also fund and support the development and implementation of interoperable tools, architectures, policies and standards for use across government.

The blueprint draws heavily from concepts presented in the White House’s National Security Strategy and goals set in the 2010 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review. The QHSR highlighted safeguarding and securing cyberspace as a key mission of the department.

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