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Mark Bruhn
Information Technology Office

Christine Y. Fitzpatrick
Information Technology Office

Last modified: Thursday, September 19, 2002

McRobbie comments on "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace"

Michael A. McRobbie, Indiana University Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, attended an event at Stanford University on Wednesday (Sept. 18) at which a draft plan for the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace was presented. Richard Clarke, special adviser to President Bush for cyberspace security, made the announcement of the strategy, which is designed to empower Americans to secure their portion of cyberspace.

"The draft strategy issued by the White House doesn't mandate changes required to improve information technology security, but it does go far toward stating the problems and presenting possible solutions," McRobbie said. "Over the past couple of years -- certainly pre-9/11 -- the higher education community had already been working to better understand security problems on our own campuses, and there are some excellent examples of solutions to which the government and private sectors should pay close attention," he said.

McRobbie and Mark Bruhn, IU's chief information technology policy and security officer, met with and made recommendations to staff of the White House Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office. The strategy announced Wednesday points to Indiana University as noteworthy for the formal authority granted to the central security office to take steps necessary to improve and maintain the security of the university's technical infrastructure, Bruhn said.

McRobbie and Bruhn have made presentations at various national and international forums on the state of security on the Internet and in higher education, and how higher education should be involved in improving security. Bruhn is a member of the executive committee of the EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Computer and Network Security Task Force, which works with security experts and partner associations to identify actions and projects to address systems security problems in higher education. That task force coordinated contributions by higher education to development of the national strategy.

"It's silly that many universities and colleges are struggling independently to secure their campuses," Bruhn said. "Indiana University has excellent experience and expertise in this area, as do many other universities and colleges. What we learn and do in the area of security should be shared with peers, but it also should benefit private industry and government."