U.S. lags in protecting vital cyber info

An Internet security analyst works to reverse a bug.

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: We've heard a lot from security experts, who warn cyber theft is a real possibility here in the U.S. and that government and corporate compute networks are vulnerable. This morning, President Obama announces a new government plan to identify those threats and protect vital information. From Washington, here's Marketplace's John Dimsdale.


John Dimsdale: Hundreds of thousands of times a day, computers full of sensitive information are probed for security breaches by cybercriminals.

James Lewis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies says the U.S. record on cybersecurity is poor.

James Lewis: Things are really bad. People keep looking for explosions or terrorism. That's not what you're going to see. This is a spy story. This is about foreign governments, foreign companies stealing information from U.S. companies and U.S. labs.

Lewis hopes the cybersecurity coordinator announced today will be based in the White House. He says that'll keep high level attention on the challenges to both public and private sector computer networks.

Lewis: This isn't regulating eBay, Amazon or Google. I really don't care about them, but when you're talking about the banking sector or the electrical grid or telecom, these are places we have to pay attention.

Previous efforts to protect cyber secrets have stumbled over intruding on the privacy of e-mails and other online communications.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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