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Agency Programs Show Outlines of Future Cyber Ecosystem

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Cyberthreat detection

The U.S. Homeland Security Department is examining how to create a multi-agency or global system that could, through machine learning and automated information sharing, detect and respond to cyberthreats.

Credit: Government Computer News

Although the creation of autonomous, self-defending, and self-healing online ecosystems remains years away, several U.S. government programs are already laying the groundwork for their development.  

Both the Federal Aviation Administration's Next Generation Air Transportation System and the Energy Department's Smart Grid program incorporate ideas and elements of machine learning and self-healing networks. The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS') Einstein intrusion-detection system is a step toward a self-defending network and has recently been upgraded with intrusion-prevention capabilities. Former DHS official Peter Fonash said that once fully deployed, Einstein would "provide the government with an early warning system and situational awareness, near real-time identification of malicious activity, and more comprehensive network defense."

Meanwhile, the Federal Information Security Management Act is slowly bringing continuous monitoring capabilities to federal agencies, and giving DHS a holistic view of threats to federal agencies through its CyberScope reporting tool. A recent DHS request is designed to build on these systems by creating a framework for the development of self-defending and self-healing cyberecosystems. DHS, the National Security Agency, and the National Institute of Standards of Technology will form a working group to perform gap analysis on the issue. 

From Government Computer News
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