An Analysis of the Primary Authorities Governing and Supporting the Efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to Secure the Cyberspace of the United States

35 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2012

See all articles by Matthew Fleming

Matthew Fleming

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute; Georgetown University

Eric Goldstein

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute

Date Written: November 29, 2012

Abstract

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a central role to play in the cybersecurity of the United States. However, authorities governing and supporting this central role appear to lack sufficient clarity. As a result, it remains difficult to judge their adequacy — and, more importantly, the fundamental nature and extent of the department’s role in securing U.S. cyberspace. In an attempt to provide clarity to the national cybersecurity community, staff from the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute conducted research to determine: what are the primary authorities supporting/governing DHS efforts to secure U.S. cyberspace (and what do the authorities say); and what ambiguities, conflicts, and gaps appear to exist in these authorities (and what are their implications for the DHS mission). This paper presents the findings of the research. It is designed to serve as a foundational document for use by DHS and its partners in the U.S. government (USG) and broader homeland security enterprise. Overall, the research suggests that existing DHS-related authorities may not be fully sufficient for DHS to: require or incentivize the protection of critical systems and information; gather (i.e., collect) information to be shared; define clearly when DHS may intervene during a cyber incident; support actions necessary to manage and coordinate cyber incident response, including for the most serious of incidents; and delineate the responsibilities of DHS and DoD for the most serious of incidents.

Keywords: cybersecurity, Homeland Security, DHS, authorities

Suggested Citation

Fleming, Matthew and Goldstein, Eric, An Analysis of the Primary Authorities Governing and Supporting the Efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to Secure the Cyberspace of the United States (November 29, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2182675 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2182675

Matthew Fleming (Contact Author)

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute ( email )

5275 Leesburg Pike
Suite N-5000
Falls Church, VA 22041
United States

Georgetown University

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Eric Goldstein

Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute ( email )

5275 Leesburg Pike
Suite N-5000
Falls Church, VA 22041
United States

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