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Obama Signs Cyber Security Executive Order

9:16 PM, Feb 12, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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At tonight's State of the Union Address, President Obama will announce that he has signed a cyber security executive order.

"America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks.  We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mail.  We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets.  Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems.  We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy," Obama will say, according to prepared remarks.

 

"That’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy.  Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attack" 

Here's a background briefer, which the White House passed along:

Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order to strengthen the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure by increasing information sharing and by jointly developing and implementing a framework of cybersecurity practices with our industry partners.  

·         Defense Industrial Base Information Sharing Program Now Open to Other Sectors: The Order expands the voluntary Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program, enabling near real time sharing of cyber threat information to assist participating critical infrastructure companies in their cyber protection efforts.  

·         NIST to Lead Development of Cybersecurity Framework: NIST will work collaboratively with critical infrastructure stakeholders to develop the framework relying on existing international standards, practices, and procedures that have proven to be effective.

Partnering with Industry to Protect Our Most Critical Assets from Cyber Attack 

Today’s new Executive Order was developed in tandem with the Presidential Policy Directive on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience also released today. The Executive Order strengthens the U.S. Government’s partnership with critical infrastructure owners and operators to address cyber threats through:

·         New information sharing programs to provide both classified and unclassified threat and attack information to U.S. companies. The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to produce unclassified reports of threats to U.S. companies and requires the reports to be shared in a timely manner. The Order also expands the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program, enabling near real time sharing of cyber threat information to assist participating critical infrastructure companies in their cyber protection efforts. 

·         The development of a Cybersecurity Framework. The Executive Order directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of a framework of cybersecurity practices to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure. NIST will work collaboratively with industry to develop the framework, relying on existing international standards, practices, and procedures that have proven to be effective. To enable technical innovation, the Cybersecurity Framework will provide guidance that is technology neutral and that enables critical infrastructure sectors to benefit from a competitive market for products and services. 

The Executive Order also:

·         Includes strong privacy and civil liberties protections based on the Fair Information Practice Principles. Agencies are required to incorporate privacy and civil liberties safeguards in their activities under this order. Those safeguards will be based upon the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPS) and other applicable privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks. Agencies will conduct regular assessments of privacy and civil liberties impacts of their activities and such assessments will be made public.

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