The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense authorized an agreement laying out some of the ways they will work together to fight cyber-threats.
The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security
have agreed to work closer to fight threats to military and
civilian computer systems and networks.
The new memorandum of agreement was reached to coordinate and improve efforts to secure the country's cyber-infrastructure, according to the document
"With this memorandum of agreement, effective immediately, we are
building a new framework between our departments to enhance operational
coordination and joint program planning," Defense Secretary Robert
Gates and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a
joint statement. "It formalizes processes in which we work together to protect our nation's cyber networks
and critical infrastructure, and increases the clarity and focus of our respective roles and responsibilities."
As part of the agreement, DoD cyber-analysts will work hand-in-hand
with Homeland Security to support the National Cybersecurity and
Communications Integration Center. The agreement also provides
a full-time senior DHS leader to the National Security Agency, as
well as a support team made up of DHS legal specialists and other
personnel. It also calls for the NSA to arrange a "Cryptologic
Services Group" at the NCCIC at DHS to work with DHS and support the
National Cyber Incident Response Plan.
"We will improve economy and efficiency by better leveraging
vital technologies and personnel to serve both departments' missions in
full adherence to U.S. laws and regulation," Gates and Napolitano
continued in the statement. "This memorandum of agreement furthers our
strong commitment to protecting civil liberties and privacy."
Officials have routinely called for greater partnerships within the
intelligence community and between the government and private sector
for cyber-security. In a July progress
on the country's cyber-security posture, government officials said the DHS'
NCCIC would work to integrate and synchronize the work of "existing
cyber- and communication incident response mechanisms into a unified
"We look forward to building on this vitally important step toward
greater collaboration as we continue to work together on new and better
ways to protect our economy and critical networks against evolving
threats by those who seek to harm the United States," Gates and
Napolitano said in their joint statement.