Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Policy highlights computing at it’s November Meeting

November 26th, 2013 / in Uncategorized / by Ann Drobnis

image001The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Policy (PCAST) met on November 12, 2013 and highlighted computing throughout the meeting.  The first agenda item was an overview of a soon-to-be-released letter report on Education Information Technology (EdIT).  There will eventually be three letter reports on this topic, with the first focusing on Higher Education, particularly Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs).  A variety of items were addressed during this session, with the highlights being that in this new era of Big Data, high bandwidth, and software innovation, opportunities to evolve pedagogical systems and personalize education are near.  You can view the discussion here.  Future EdIT letter reports will focus on Workforce training and reskilling, highlighting adult education and on K-12 Education.

The second agenda item was the release of the Cybersecurity report, accompanied with an overview discussion.  The overall finding reported is:

Cybersecurity will not be achieved by a collection of static precautions that, if taken by Government and industry organizations, will make them secure. Rather, it requires a set of processes that continuously couple information about an evolving threat to defensive reactions and responses.

The six additional findings are:

  1. The Federal Government rarely follows accepted best practices. It needs to lead by example and accelerate its efforts to make routine cyberattacks more difficult by implementing best practices for its own systems.
  2. Many private-sector entities come under some form of Federal regulation for reasons not directly related to national security. In many such cases there is opportunity, fully consistent with the intent of the existing enabling legislation, for promoting and achieving best practices in cybersecurity.
  3. Industry-driven, but third-party-audited, continuous-improvement processes are more likely to create an effective cybersecurity culture than are Government-mandated, static lists of security measures.
  4. To improve the capacity to respond in real time, cyberthreat data need to be shared more extensively among private-sector entities and—in appropriate circumstances and with publicly understood interfaces—between private-sector entities and Government.
  5. Internet Service Providers are well-positioned to contribute to rapid improvements in cybersecurity through real-time action.
  6. Future architectures will need to start with the premise that each part of a system must be designed to operate in a hostile environment. Research is needed to foster systems with dynamic, real-time defenses to complement hardening approaches.

You can view the discussion on cybersecurity here.

The third item was a discussion on Privacy.  Nicole Wong, Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the Office of Science and Technology Policy spoke about the importance and differences between Security and Privacy.  Her talk can be viewed here.

President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Policy highlights computing at it’s November Meeting

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