Thursday, May 28, 2009

White House Focuses on CyberSecurity

President Barack Obama announced plans to personally select and appoint a White House Cybersecurity Coordinator to drive new policies to better protect the nation's information infrastructure. Shortly after taking office, Obama directed the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the federal government's efforts in cybersecurity. The 60-day review outlines a range of actions that the federal government should pursue. Key elements of the plan to secure America's information and communications networks include:

  • Cybersecurity will be designated as one of the Obama administration's key management priorities.

  • To ensure a coordinated approach across government, appoint a new Cybersecurity Coordinator, who will work closely with the White House Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, and the Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra.

  • The White House cybersecurity coordinator will work with all the key players -- including state and local governments and the private sector -- to ensure an organized and unified response to future cyber incidents.

  • Strengthen the public/private partnerships. The Obama administration will not dictate security standards for private companies. The policy will not include monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic.

  • Continue to invest in the cutting-edge research and development necessary for the innovation and discovery

  • Begin a national campaign to promote cybersecurity awareness and digital literacy.

"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. Protecting this infrastructure will be a national security priority. We will ensure that these networks are secure, trustworthy and resilient. We will deter, prevent, detect, and defend against attacks and recover quickly from any disruptions or damage.

"To give these efforts the high-level focus and attention they deserve -- and as part of the new, single National Security Staff announced this week -- I'm creating a new office here at the White House that will be led by the Cybersecurity Coordinator. Because of the critical importance of this work, I will personally select this official. I'll depend on this official in all matters relating to cybersecurity, and this official will have my full support and regular access to me as we confront these challenges," stated President Barack Obama.