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At the RSA cybersecurity conference in San Francisco today, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, announced that his agency will be opening a satellite office in Silicon Valley.

The DHS, Johnson said, is the government’s main link to private sector companies when it comes to security matters, including cybersecurity.

“We want to make it so the public sector and the private sector can share intelligence and research,” Johnson said.

“Government doesn’t have all the answers, and we definitely don’t have all the talent,” he said. “It has to be a partnership [with the private sector].”

The DHS routinely investigates cybercrime incidents. Johnson said his agency investigated hundreds of attacks in the past year.

“We investigated 265 instances of the Heartbleed vulnerability, and in six weeks narrowed it down to two,” he said.

In all serious incidents, the DHS acts as a first responder on the federal level, then calls in other agencies — like the FBI, the Defense Department, the Department of Commerce, or the Department of Justice — when necessary.

Johnson pointed out that he is determined to mitigate the turf battles that have occurred between these federal agencies in the past, where cybersecurity issues are concerned.

While in California, Johnson toured U.S. Coast Guard operations, met with California Governor Jerry Brown, and participated in engagements with local law enforcement.


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