Computers are crucial to the operations of government and business. Computers and networks essentially run the critical infrastructures that are vital to our national defense, economic security, and public health and safety. Unfortunately, many computer systems and networks were not designed with security in mind. As a result, the core of our critical infrastructure is riddled with vulnerabilities that could enable an attacker to disrupt operations or cause damage to these infrastructures. Critical infrastructure protection (CIP) involves activities that enhance the security of our nation's cyber and physical infrastructure. Defending against attacks on our information technology infrastructure-- cybersecurity--is a major concern of both the government and the private sector. Consistent with guidance provided by the Senate's Fiscal Year 2003 Legislative Branch Appropriations Report (S. Rpt. 107-209), GAO conducted this technology assessment on the use of cybersecurity technologies for CIP in response to a request from congressional committees. This assessment addresses the following questions: (1) What are the key cybersecurity requirements in each of the CIP sectors? (2) What cybersecurity technologies can be applied to CIP? (3) What are the implementation issues associated with using cybersecurity technologies for CIP, including policy issues such as privacy and information sharing?
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