Partnerships between the public and private sectors are one of the best ways government and industry can work together to protect America’s cybersecurity, CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) Vice President and Chief Security Officer David Mahon told the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security in testimony today.
At a hearing entitled, “Investing in Cybersecurity: Understanding Risks and Building Capabilities for the Future,” Mahon noted that CenturyLink works closely with the federal government on industry-wide solutions to counter cyberthreats. As a leading provider of cybersecurity services to the government, CenturyLink recommends further improving the quality of public-private information sharing and continually refining these relationships to get actionable, tailored cyberthreat information to the targeted sectors as soon as possible.
CenturyLink is one of only two fully approved commercial services provider for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (ECS) program that helps government-approved critical infrastructure entities, including state and local governments, protect their IT systems from unauthorized access, exploitation or data exfiltration. The company also provides similar cyber protections to federal government agencies via the DHS Einstein 3 Accelerated (E3A) program. Both programs leverage classified cyberthreat information to protect government networks and critical infrastructure operators.
Under the direction of DHS, Internet service providers like CenturyLink administer intrusion prevention capabilities, managed security services and threat-based protections onto network traffic entering and leaving participating federal civilian agency networks through the E3A program, and provide similar services to critical infrastructure operators, including state and local governments, through the ECS program.
“We believe the fiscal year 2015 federal budget offers significant opportunities to strengthen our nation’s cyber defenses,” Mahon told the Senate subcommittee. “We urge Congress to provide additional funding for cash-strapped state and local governments to implement ECS and for expanding the capabilities of E3A to provide even more robust protections to federal government networks.”
“We also urge Congress and DHS to place a renewed emphasis on workforce development in the cyber arena and to continue to invest in research and development for new cybersecurity technologies,” Mahon said.