FBI: The Hackers Are Winning

US companies failing to fend off intruders
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2012 9:22 AM CDT
FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry speaks in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – If US businesses are in a war with computer hackers, the FBI's top cyber cop has bad news: "We're not winning." In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Shawn Henry, who is leaving the bureau for a private cybersecurity gig, says the nation's current strategy for fending off digital criminals isn't sustainable. "You never get ahead, never become secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security," he said.

Hackers are simply too smart for existing security measures, Henry said. "You can only build a fence so high, and what we've found is that the offense outpaces the defense, and the offense is better than the defense." He's urging companies to keep their most sensitive data off their networks entirely, and to hunt inside their network for intrusions. He says most companies don't have a proactive strategy, "and that is a frustrating thing for me."

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