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Bush Needs To Ramp Up Cybersecurity In New Year ! - 12/29/2004 10:54:29 AM   

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Top E-government official envisions IT security as part of every project, but critics still want a top cybersecurity official.

The Bush administration plans to address the demands to advance its cybersecurity policies in the new year, but some critics question whether the administration will go far enough to protect the United States from increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks and security breaches.

The administration's stance is that cybersecurity's moving forward will inherently be part of any new federal government IT initiatives. Others, however, believe the president should create a distinct administrative cybersecurity position within the Homeland Security Department to oversee progress in the federal government and act as a liaison with private industry.

Cybersecurity costs are expected to be factored into all agency budget requests. It's a matter the administration takes seriously enough that the Office of Management and Budget suggests agencies without adequate plans to improve cybersecurity shouldn't move to any new IT projects until cybersecurity is addressed, says Karen Evans, OMB's administrator for E-government and IT.

Entering his second term, President Bush faces a number of challenges to IT-related initiatives such as cybersecurity. Perhaps the greatest challenge is a growing budget deficit projected to reach $521 billion for fiscal 2004. The president has promised to cut the deficit in half within five years, but much of this will depend on a reduction in spending, including a heavy reliance on IT to cut costs.

"This doesn't necessarily mean that IT budgets will be cut," Evans says. "If an agency is properly managing their portfolio, their IT budget might go down because they're achieving the same or better results with the same amount of tax dollars."
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Source : InformationWeek
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