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Obama Launches New Cybersecurity Office

A new office charged with analyzing and integrating cybersecurity threat data collected by regional intelligence agencies aims to do for cybersecurity what the National Counterterrorism Center did for terrorism.

The federal government has a new weapon to fight cyberattacks like the one against Sony last year: the new Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC) will operate under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Obama administration announced Feb. 10. The center will serve as a single government entity to coordinate cybersecurity data for cybercenters and policy makers around the nation.

“CTIIC will serve a similar function for cyber as the National Counterterrorism Center for terrorism,” Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco said at a press conference. “Integrating intelligence about cyberthreats, providing all source analysis to policy makers and operators, and supporting the work of existing federal cybercenters – network defenders, law enforcement communities.”

As regional cybersecurity intelligence sharing centers have become more common in recent years, the federal government has seen fit to create an entity that unites the intelligence among them. CTIIC won’t collect cyberintelligence, but will analyze the data that other centers collect, and integrate that information back into the cybercommunity. 

The center has an annual budget of $35 million and will be staffed by 50 employees, the Washington Post reported.

Some, like former White House cybersecurity coordinator  Melissa Hathaway, criticized the center as a redundant body in an already-unwieldy bureaucracy. Monaco noted in her announcement that the center would not replicate any existing functions of cyberoffices, but will seek to increase the efficacy of those efforts already under way and the nation’s cybersecurity efforts in general.

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