Following recent hacks against Sony, Anthem and other major corporations, the White House has moved to form a new central agency that will pool resources from existing programs in order to monitor and combat cybersecurity threats.
According to the Washington Post, the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC) is modeled after the National Counterterrorism Center, which was formed after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to help agencies quickly share intelligence to thwart terrorism on U.S. soil. In that vein, the CTIIC will connect the dots between federal agencies that have cybersecurity departments, including the CIA, the FBI, the NSA and the Dept. of Homeland Security.
The Obama administration will announced the new center on Tuesday in an address by White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco.
“The cyberthreat is one of the greatest threats we face, and policymakers and operators will benefit from having a rapid source of intelligence,” Monaco told the Post. “It will help ensure that we have the same integrated, all-tools approach to the cyberthreat that we have developed to combat terrorism.”
According to officials, the North Korean hack of Sony Entertainment was the catalyst for the center’s creation. Obama wanted to know who was responsible for the attack, so Monaco gathered key agencies involved in the investigation, including the FBI, the NSA and the CIA, and asked them to report back their findings. She received multiple reports, but lacked a way to integrate all the data — so she asked the FBI to produce the report, which then pointed the blame at North Korea. The CTIIC would be responsible for working with various agencies to gather, analyze and disseminate information going forward.
President Obama hinted at the center’s formation in his State of the Union address on Jan. 20, saying the government would streamline its cybersecurity intelligence efforts “just as we have done to combat terrorism.”