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Obama's $9 million security center for cyber threats

Despite majority of the affairs, from communication to finances and healthcare, being managed through computers, the nation is currently far behind in its fight against cyber attacks

Washington, November 1 -- The Obama administration is gearing up to deal with the long-brewing issue of cyber security.

In a move that will result in a more focused approach to fighting cyber attacks, the Obama administration has opened The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) based in Arlington, Virginia.

The $9 million cyber security centre, which will be in operation 24 hours, will feature 61 computers capable of accessing real time data feeds. They will also be able to analysis Internet traffic and worldwide telecommunication activities.

Nation exposed to significant threats
Despite majority of the affairs, from communication to finances and healthcare, managed through computers, the nation is currently far behind in its fight against cyber attacks.

The government’s computer systems are scanned millions of times a day by potential hackers and cyber criminals to exploit the possible vulnerabilities in the systems.

"Malicious hackers want to undermine federal state and local networks. Hostile foreign governments are testing and developing an aggressive cyber warfare strategy. Private sector cyber espionage undermines technological investments made by leading American companies," said Democratic Congressman David Price, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

Public private partnership for cyber security
But the latest move by the administration will bring together the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) and the National Coordinating Center for Telecommunications (NCC) to set up a system to jointly deal with cyber threats.

US-CERT is collaboration between public and private organizations aimed at securing the cyber infrastructure.

The NCC is the operational arm of the National Communications System, which is responsible for enabling national security and emergency preparedness using the national telecommunications system.

With the private and federal agencies joining forces, the new center will focus on identifying weakness in the existing system that run power plants and other critical infrastructure to ensure that the most sensitive networks are protected, stated Sen. Joe Lieberman.

“Consolidating our cyber and communications operations centers within the NCCIC will enhance our ability to effectively mitigate risks and respond to threats," stated Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.