Much of the discussion surrounding cybersecurity is rather amorphous, but a new report from the U.S. Senate committee overseeing intelligence matters spells out some of the specific concerns more clearly.
In its report accompanying the Fiscal 2012 intelligence authorization, the Senate Select Committee for Intelligence expresses concern about “the counterintelligence risk posed by foreign manufacturers and suppliers of telecommunications equipment and services to U.S. customers.” It calls for “enhanced authority to manage supply chain risks for civilian procurements, including Intelligence Community procurements.”
The committee is quick to point out, though, it is not trying to erect trade barriers, noting “it is neither possible nor desirable, from an economic standpoint, to foreclose access to U.S. markets.”
Instead, it is requiring the intelligence community to draft a report on counterintelligence risks that could then help the U.S. government and private businesses make more informed decisions.
The report also addresses the trend for the government to move to cloud-based information architectures. While it acknowledges testimony made by the head of the National Security Agency, Gen. Keith Alexander, who says cloud-based computing may be more secure than traditional architectures, it wants an independent review “of the efficiency and security implications of moving sensitive government information – including information dependent upon or residing upon classified networks – to a cloud-based architecture.”