According to Computerworld, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to work with private sector employees from the communications and IT industries to improve cybersecurity, according to Gregory Garcia, assistant secretary of cybersecurity and telecommunications at the DHS.

Government and private sector employees will work together at the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (U.S.-CERT) facility to improve the monitoring of suspicious Internet activity and increase cooperation between the public and private sectors. In 2006, 23,000 incidents were reported to U.S.-CERT, with three-fourths reported by the private sector.

Meanwhile, 19,000 incidents have been reported in the first quarter of the federal fiscal year, notes DHS National Cyber Security Division head Jerry Dixon, who says many government entities are unprepared to deal with the growing threat due to inadequate knowledge of their computing environments.

"How can you manage risk if you don't have a good handle on what you're environment looks like?" At the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's Homeland Security Conference, Garcia said the need to improve cooperation and overall IT security is becoming more urgent daily, and as U.S.-CERT becomes more visible and effective, officials hope more private sector organizations will become members.