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Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano opened the new National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. The $9 million center houses a team of government and private sector computer experts to monitor and prevent breaches in cyber security by hackers or foreign governments.
From communication to finances and healthcare, every aspect of American life is connected to a computer.
The dependence on technology puts the United States at risk of a cyber attack.
"Malicious hackers want to undermine federal state and local networks. Hostile foreign governments are testing and developing an aggressive cyber warfare strategy. Private sector cyber espionage undermines technological investments made by leading american companies," said Democratic Congressman David Price, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security. He says businesses lose billions of dollars every year from cyber attacks.
To protect the government and private sector, the Department of Homeland Security created the Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the center merges the private sector with the telecommunications and cyber security divisions within the department. "This is all designed to facilitate a timely and effective crisis communications, crisis operations, in the event of a significant communications disruption or cyber incident," she said.
Assistant Secretary of Cyber Security and Communications, Gregory Schaffer says the new center will make the United States less vulnerable during a crisis, like a natural disaster. "There has been a number of reports that have thought about for example could someone leverage like a hurricane and launch a cyber attack in that moment when we are dealing with the physical disruption of the networks," he said.
Schaffer says the new center will identify and report a breach of cyber security more efficiently than before. "So by having these units together, we expect they will be reactive in a much faster way and they'll be able to plan more effectively for events as they are coming," he said.
To better protect the U.S. from the technology it has so enthusiastically embraced.