The massive law also required the Ministry of Defence to make other efforts to help the civilian government and critical infrastructure providers, such as banks and hospitals, fend off cyberattacks when asked to do so. “It also clarifies the roles and responsibilities between DOD and DHS to increase the U.S. government`s willingness to respond to cyber threats and to establish coordinated lines of efforts to secure, protect and defend the country of origin,” said the statement, which was made at a joint hearing of the House`s security and professional services cyber-panels. Another potential benefit of the agreement is that by strengthening coordination, it can lead to a reduction of bureaucratic wrangling and turf wars around the cybersecurity authority. Such issues have recently been raised with the resignation of the director of DHS` National Cyber Security Centre, Rod Beckstrom, in March. In his resignation letter, Beckstrom said the NSA “dominates” cybersecurity and “effectively controls DHS`s cyber efforts.” Supporters say that there are already clear lines of authority regarding the relative purviews of agencies, but what is needed and what the agreement provides is communication and recognition of a relative authority to prevent any “missionary creeping”. In this view, where such turf wars are more random than deliberate, by not changing existing jurisdictional lines and by strengthening cooperation and information exchange, the agreement will only accentuate the already clear distinctions between the Agency`s roles. “DoD`s 2018 cyber strategy prioritizes the challenge of the Great Performance Competition and recognizes that the department must adapt a proactive attitude to compete and counter determined and mature opponents quickly,” he said. “It is clear that dod focuses on cyberspace, as in other areas, to prevent or reduce threats before they reach U.S. soil. This priority complements dhS` cybersecurity strategy, which focuses on risk prevention and management in the country. Together, DoD and DHS strategies form a natural, supportive approach to deep defense.
Jeaneatte Manfra, assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications security, said the agreement respects DHS` established role in defending U.S.-based networks, while attacking DoD`s concerns that the networks it depends on are not always under its control or authority.