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Center for Internet Security gives ASDHS new tools

fili@samoanews.com
Karl Prendergast of DHS (left) looks on as Thomas Duffy, Executive Director of the Center for Internet Security (standing) and Shehzad Mirza, Director of Security Operations Center (right) install the new cyber security system at the local Homeland Security Department main office. [courtesy photo]

The Department of Homeland Security (ASDHS) is now able to better monitor and track cyber crime incidents from their main office in Fagatogo after new software and equipment were installed recently by the Center for Internet Security, which is inside the ASDHS main office.

"Internet use is now a big part of everyday life in American Samoa, and with this online interaction, we are exposed to a great deal of cyber criminal activity," ASDHS director Mike Sala said yesterday. "We need the tools to help us defeat the cyber criminals and this new system enables us to keep up with cyber criminal activity."

Sala said Thomas Duffy, the executive Director of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and Shehzad Mirza, Director of the Security Operations Center - both based out of the CIS offices in New York, arrived in the territory two weeks ago to start the installation of the new equipment.

While on island, Duffy also met with the newly established local Cyber Security Working Group to address the current threat landscape and the typical challenges for a start up cyber security working group, he said.

The visit was the result of an invitation by Sala at the annual meeting of the MS-ISAC, which was held August this year at Nashville, Tennessee where American Samoa became the first of the participating states and territories to sign a memorandum of agreement to include American Samoa in the existing federal monitoring system.

The inclusion of American Samoa in the system has added more comprehensive local scanning capabilities, which up until now have been available to protect federal networks only. And as a participant of the MOU, MS-ISAC is providing funding to install this system for ASDHS.

Duffy said the newly installed equipment provides more layers of cyber security protection for American Samoa. "There is no single silver bullet for cyber security defenses, so layers of protection are needed to keep networks resilient to attack," said Duffy in a statement.

He also said the new system will help American Samoa keep pace with the never-ending cycles of defense and attacks in the cyber security world.

Sala praised the MS-ISAC and the CIS for making this system available to the states and territories. Sala also thanked the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority for their assistance in providing the required Internet Protocol addresses on short notice that made the installation successful.



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