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  BLACKLINES

Internet: Safe from Attack? and Sites of the Month
by Andrew Davis
2004-01-01

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Eight months after forging a plan to secure cyberspace, a coalition of government and private corporations says it is close to unveiling real products and practices to bolster the nation's vulnerable networks.

As part of the first of several National Cyber Security Summits, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge acknowledged a huge gap of time between President Bush's National Strategy for Securing Cyber Security, released earlier this year, and the creation of the U.S. CERT Coordination Center (an Internet security enterprise), but said his department is making progress. Mostly, though, the government is only taking limited action when recommending legislation or mandates. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. government has taken a hard look at its critical infrastructure and decided it cannot do it alone considering 85 percent is owned by the private sector.

Critics have attacked the administration's plan as a very loosely based program that's too dependent on private enterprise without enough checks and balances.

The National Cyber Security Division, now headed by Amit Yoran, has now been assigned the task to close the gap and start tying up loose ends. Only a few months into his term, the former Symantec executive said the nation's critical infrastructure is better off than a year ago, but admitted much more must be done to stay ahead of attacks. Uplifting, isn't it?

However, there is one bit of good news. According to a recent poll of industry professionals, 78 percent of them said that their organizations are prepared to defend against a major cyber attack. Among those at the largest companies surveyed, 82 percent said that their companies are more secure.

Source: Internetnews.com

Sites of the Month:

Billy Dee Williams World Art [www.bdwworldart.com]: Who knew that the original King of Suave could paint? Read his biography and, of course, check out the galleries.

Blue Mercury [www.bluemercury.com]: More and more of the rich and (semi-) famous are flocking to this skin care site which features items such as Lemon SUGARBath and softening socks for your rough dogs.

Behind the Mask - Gay and Lesbian Affairs in Africa [www.mask.org .za]: This webzine focuses on GLBT life on the Dark Continent and features several intriguing pages. Among them is the Mind, Body, & Spirit page, which discusses everything from lesbian spirituality to the practicality of having a gay political party.

Soul Train [www.soultrain.com]: Of course, you've grown up watching this show —but did you know that it's STILL running (and now with the very fine Dorian Gregory)? Among the more interesting items at this site are the virtual backstage pass and a rundown of dance regulars—with names like Twist and Lady Mack—which people like Rosie Perez and Jody Watley used to be.

I'm at westelm406@yahoo.com .


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