Fed cybersecurity review out; "cyber coordinator" established

Share this article:
Declaring that the future economic success of America rests on cybersecurity, President Obama on Friday unveiled a five-part digital infrastructure protection plan that will be coordinated out of a newly established White House office.

"It's now clear this cyberthreat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation," Obama said. "It's also clear that we're not as prepared as we should be, as a government or as a country"

Obama's speech coincided with the release of the much anticipated 60-day review of federal government cybersecurity policies, headed by former Bush administration official Melissa Hathaway. The 76-page report outlines a new, comprehensive approach the government will undertake to secure cyberspace, including appointing a person to coordinate cybersecurity initiatives, expanding partnerships between the public and private sector, and investing in research and innovation, Obama said.

“From now on, our digital infrastructure -- the networks and computers we depend on every day -- will be treated as they should be: as a strategic national asset,” Obama said.

The new cybersecurity coordinator, to be selected by Obama, will give cybersecurity efforts the high-level focus needed, the president said. This individual will have regular access to the president and will work closely with the nation's chief technology officer, Aneesh Chopra, and its chief information officer, Vivek Kundra. In addition, the cybersecurity coordinator will be a member of the National Security Staff and the National Economic Council, Obama said.  

Under the direction of the new cybersecurity coordinator, the White House cybersecurity office will be responsible for orchestrating and integrating all cybersecurity policies for the government, ensuring agency budgets are sufficient, and coordinating a response in the event of a cyberattack, Obama said.

Protecting the digital infrastructure will be a national security priority, the president said. The government will, “deter, prevent, detect, and defend against attacks and recover quickly from any disruptions or damage."

To do this, Obama laid out a five-part plan that includes developing a comprehensive strategy to secure America's digital networks and ensure coordination across government levels. Further, the government will work with state and local governments and the private sector to ensure an organized and unified response to future cyber incidents.

“Given the enormous damage that can be caused by even a single cyberattack, ad hoc responses will not do,” Obama said.

In addition, the government will strengthen public/private partnerships, and invest in research and development to “meet the digital challenges of our time.” And finally, the government will initiate a national campaign to promote cybersecurity awareness and digital literacy among Americans, Obama said.

"In short, America's economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cybersecurity," the president said.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of SC Magazine to post a comment.

Next Article in News

Sign up to our newsletters

More in News

CryptoWall surpasses CryptoLocker in infection rates

CryptoWall surpasses CryptoLocker in infection rates

A threat analysis from Dell SecureWorks CTU says that CryptoWall has picked up where its famous sibling left off.

Professor says Google search, not hacking, yielded medical info

Professor says Google search, not hacking, yielded medical ...

A professor of ethical hacking at City College San Francisco came forward to clarify that he did not demonstrate hacking a medical center's server in a class.

Syrian Malware Team makes use of enhanced BlackWorm RAT

Syrian Malware Team makes use of enhanced BlackWorm ...

FireEye analyzed the hacking group's use of the malware, dubbed the "Dark Edition" of BlackWorm.