February 25, 2004  


Cross-Sector Coordination Needed to Prevent Attacks: DoD briefs Granger and other lawmakers on policy needs for technology sectors


Yesterday, Congresswoman Kay Granger (R – Fort Worth) and thirteen other Members of Congress met with Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul L. Wolfowitz, Deputy Homeland Security Secretary James Loy, and USAF Lt Gen Michael Dunn at the National Defense University in Washington. State and Federal representatives from the Departments of Energy, Justice, and Treasury also participated, bringing synchronized involvement from all branches and levels of government.

The Department of Defense (DoD) has initiated a series of crisis-simulation exercises to give senior government officials insights into the complexities of the emerging global security challenges and to illuminate policy and organizational options. In meeting with Members of Congress, DoD is seeking increased dialogue between both government branches and sharing insights with key policymakers.

The "Dark Portal" exercise was designed to note the importance of coordination between federal, state, and local officials in preventing potential cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure areas that rely heavily on technology. The energy and telecommunications industries are intertwined because of their mobile, highly integrated and specialized services to consumers.

Similarly, our nation’s banking and financial sectors operate on immediacy and efficiency in their complex national and international systems. A notional incident on these infrastructures would create rippling effects through many sectors of the national economy.

"It is important to analyze the interdependencies between these critical areas so that we can preemptively combat cyber-attacks," says Granger. "We must also be prepared so that an attack of this nature would not compromise our ongoing military operations." Granger currently sits on the Appropriations Committee for Military Construction and Homeland Security; she also is a member of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security.