Einstein is an intrusion detection – and soon an intrusion prevention – system the government is deploying to safeguard government IT systems. Some cybersecurity experts contend Einstein has the potential to intrude on the privacy of individual Americans, a concern Philip Reitinger dismisses.
Reitinger, deputy undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate and director of the National Cybersecurity Center, says the only purpose of Einstein is to protect government networks.
“To that end, it is not our intention to go out and seek things like personally identifiable information,” Reitinger said in the second of a two-part interview with GovInfoSecurity.com. “Our intent is instead, say, what constitutes an attack? What is malicious traffic? And when we see something that is malicious traffic, that is an attempt to compromise a government system, and quite conceivably impair the privacy of Americans who data is held or the people who are working on those government systems, that we can detect that and stop it, and do a better job of actually protecting privacy.”