Debate: A White House order on cyber security

Share this article:

Debate: A White House order on cyber security would be a step in the right direction for safeguarding networks.


Richard C. LaMagna, president, LaMagna and Associates

State-sponsored cyber attacks require a state-led response. President Obama's planned executive order (E.O.) in response to the defeated U.S. Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (CSA) will allow federal agencies to propose new security standards for critical infrastructure industries. It will also create a council of federal agencies, led by the Department of Homeland Security, to report on cyber threats, many state-sponsored by China. 

The [failed cyber security] bill called for voluntary standardized security practices, liability protection, priority assistance and access to classified information for companies that control the nation's critical infrastructure. 

 Critics argue the provisions are hallmarks of an intrusive government, that liability protection is inadequate, that non-participating companies would be penalized and that voluntary standards will stifle innovation. 

Such ideological myopia is both wrong and dangerous. The federal government must play a lead role in protecting the country and its institutions.


Liz Wright, principal systems engineer, Lockheed Martin

The business of government is government, not private sector. Government safeguarding government assets is appropriate; however, declaring private  sector part of the government “critical infrastructure” is a nebulous definition at best. 

Collaboration among partners is laudable given an equal footing, but when one partner holds authority or provides direction to other partners, the collaborative facade evaporates. Information sharing is desirable among teammates; dialogue is bi-directional. Open communication is key. 

Cyber security needs responsible, accountable, technically savvy individuals to drive vision and create the way forward, not politicians who drive meaningless mandates. In the ever-changing landscape where cyber space meets business, private sector in America still means businesses are accountable to shareholders, employees, and customers. 

Who knows business best? Who protects our assets? He who owns a thing, controls the thing. That's how democracy works. 

Share this article:

Next Article in Opinions

Sign up to our newsletters

More in Opinions

Unfair competition: Proactive preemption can save you from litigation

Unfair competition: Proactive preemption can save you ...

With each job change, the risk that the new hire will bring confidential information or trade secrets with him or her to the new company grows.

Hackers only need to get it right once, we need to get it right every time

Hackers only need to get it right once, ...

Hackers only need to find one weak point to steal valuable information. On the flip side, security pros need to account for every possible scenario.

Successful strategies for continuous response

Successful strategies for continuous response

While it isn't realistic for organizations to expect that it will never happen to them, a rapid, professional and continuous response can limit their scope and reputational impact.