Nonetheless, the NIAC will take a closer look at the potential need for regulatory guidance, particularly within sectors that are not necessarily motivated by profit to enhance security, such as the water and electricity industries, said Richard Davidson, NIAC chairman and president and CEO of Union Pacific Corp.
"In some unusual situations, it might take regulation to make this happen," Davidson said.
The NIAC, made up of chief executives from companies hosting critical infrastructure, is now administered by the . Robert Liscouski, who was appointed assistant secretary of Homeland Security for Infrastructure Protection in late March, sat in on Tuesdays meeting.
Addressing a concern expressed lately by prominent IT experts, including Richard Clarke, former cyber-security adviser to the president, Liscouski said that the Information Assurance and Infrastructure Protection division of the new department "places an especially high priority on protecting our cyber infrastructure."
The NIAC is also looking at the thorny issue of network vulnerability disclosure. Council members opinions on the topic range from full disclosure to limited disclosure, but there is a consensus that guidelines are needed for handling vulnerabilities, said John Chambers, NIAC vice chairman and president and CEO of Cisco Systems Inc.
"Lacking existing guidelines, people invent solutions," Chambers said, adding that ad hoc solutions can create new problems. A task force set up by the council will complete a study on the matter by the end of June, Chambers said, and the initial assessment is that disclosure can cause more risks than it eliminates.
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