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U.S. Commerce Dept. official says public-private coordination needed to combat cyberattacks

  • 2015-11-13 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

(Asahi: November 13, 2015 – p. 12)


 Interview with Kelly Welsh, General Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce


 General Counsel Kelly Welsh, who is No. 3 at the U.S. Department of Commerce and in charge of private-sector cybersecurity, gave an interview to Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo. Mr. Welsh emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships, saying, “In both the United States and Japan, the private sector performs the bulk of the nation’s economic activities, and cyber countermeasures need to meet their needs.”


 Based on an executive order, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, created guidance in 2014 for critical infrastructure organizations to better manage and reduce cybersecurity risk. More than 3,000 people from industry and government participated in drafting the guidance, and it covers situations on the frontlines of business as well as cost-effectiveness. The guidance divides cybersecurity activities into functions, including identification and protection. It then offers tiers for assessing the degree of rigor in cybersecurity practices. The guidance is designed to be customized for individual companies.


 Mr. Welsh added, “We put priority on the views of the private sector so the guidance is easy for companies to adopt. We kept the language simple so the guidance could be used to facilitate discussion among engineers and senior executives about their company’s cybersecurity practices.” Public-private partnership in the area of cyber countermeasures is an issue in Japan as well.


 Mr. Welsh gave high marks to the agreement reached in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations for the signatories to the pact to stipulate criminal procedures and penalties for cybercrimes aimed at stealing trade secrets. “In addition to Japan and the United States, countries that make up a considerable segment of the global economy are involved in the TPP, and it is very significant that the TPP reinforces the implementation of cybersecurity laws.”

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