Human Quarantines Seen as Model In CyberworldReal-World Methods Eyed to Stop Spread of Viruses in Cyberworld
The Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, the group that provided President Barack Obama with a blueprint on how to secure the government's and nation's critical IT infrastructure, is seeking an answer to that question.
"There could be some parallels with the World Health Organization where we would establish an international-type understanding to ensure quarantines of certain ill computer products and software capabilities until they are cleaned for proper use on the international information network of the Internet," retired Air Force Gen. Harry Raduege, commission co-chair and director of the Deloitte Center for Cyber Innovation, said in an interview Friday.
The World Health Organization has developed robust procedures to quarantine people with certain infection so others aren't contaminated. "We just don't allow them to get on an airplane or travel through the metro and spread their infectious disease," Raduege said. Analogous processes could be used to prevent computer viruses from spreading, he said.
Asked whether quarantines would be limited to software, or could be extended to hardware or networks, Raduege answered that's what a commission working group is exploring. Commission recommendations would likely be a start to identifying a solution, not a final resolution. "Certainly, we won't have all the answers," he said, "but perhaps we will be the catalyst that will cause some additional thought process to be established in this area."
Unlike the original report, a comprehensive set of recommendations issued shortly after the presidential election two years ago, future studies from the commission will appear as white papers, such as the one issued in July, A Human Capital Crisis in Cybersecurity: Technical Proficiency Matters.
Other commission working groups are exploring authentication, privacy and dynamic defense, also known as situational awareness. Raduege said a white paper on authentication could be published within a month.