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FBI’s Shawn Henry Proposes Alternate Internet to Secure Critical Infrastructures

2 mins read

With the increase of more sophisticated malicious threats against critical systems controlling infrastructure such as those of power plants and financial institutions, a top government official has called for the consideration of a new secure alternate Internet.

Shawn Henry, the executive assistant director of the FBI, told attendees at an International Systems Security Association conference that the threats aren’t disappearing and no new system will ever be secure enough to defend against future attacks. Cyber threats will always evolve and outpace efforts to defend networks, he said according to eweek.com.

Henry indicated that setting up a secure Internet, separate from the public Internet could be a solution. Although it would not allow anonymity, only trusted individuals would have system access.

The FBI has made cyber-attacks a top priority and Henry indicated that even terrorist groups have began to focus on these types of attacks since they are cheaper, easier and faster, he said.

The alternate Internet would be built with the intention of securing critical systems where there would be strict access rules and those who are allowed entry must report any suspicious behavior, said Henry.

In addition to the plan for an alternate Internet, the FBI has been in favor of taking sensitive information offline completely, Henry said. Henry echoed a statement from Richard Clarke, former counter-terrorism czar, last week at the Mandiant Incident Response conference in Washington, D.C.  Clarke indicated that if vulnerable information were disconnected, it would be much more secure.

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