By Dennis Fisher  |  Posted 2003-05-26 Print this article Print

Clarke: If you think about private sector mergers, where two or three companies have to be put together, you understand that there is a normal period of adjustment. The Department of Homeland Security is trying to merge 22 organizations at the same time so its that much more difficult. Theyre obviously having some growing pains. eWEEK: Do you expect that to continue?
Clarke: Yeah, if you look at past federal departments coming into existence by merging federal organizations, you look at the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, it frequently took four to six years before the organizations thought of themselves as one department. We hope obviously that its going to go quicker, but the historical record is it takes a little time.
eWEEK: One of the big complaints I always hear from private sector folks is that they dont know where to go when they find a new vulnerability or have some other problem. Will this help with that? Clarke: Some people in the past called the National Infrastructure Protection Center at the FBI, some people called the CERT or the FedCIRC, the federal version. The idea of putting all of these organizations together is to create a National Cybersecurity Center, which I think they probably will announce early next month. That center will be the obvious place to make the call. eWEEK: Thatll be for incident response, new vulnerabilities… Clarke: Yeah, the center will probably be more than just event response. Itll also be policy development, awareness, public outreach. It should be that thing that we described where the five cyber components come together in one room. The key to making the center work is that the person chosen to head it be sufficiently high-level. They cant be buried in that department. Because the person whos going to head that center has to do the job that in effect I did as the special adviser to the president. So they cant be on the fourth level of the department, and thats something theyre still trying to work out. eWEEK: Do you think thatll be someone internal at the department itself?


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