On Tuesday, Feb. 12, President Obama signed an executive order on cybersecurity -- an order that aims to increase cyber defenses of our nations critical infrastructure, improve information sharing about cyberthreats between the public and private sectors, and establish a framework of cybersecurity best practices.
There has been talk of such an order since August 2012, following the Cybersecurity Acts failure to pass in Congress. Obama signaled he may invoke his power of executive order to pass similar legislation, and on Sept. 19, 2012, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the executive order on cybersecurity was close to completion.
According to The New York Times, the order will allow companies that oversee infrastructure such as dams, electrical grids and financial institutions to join an experimental program that provides real-time reports about cyberthreats. Companies will also be given advice to follow to prevent attacks. The executive order further specifies that government agencies that play a role in cybersecurity will have their responsibilities more clearly defined.
Finally, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] will work with industry to develop a framework for cybersecurity standards for critical infrastructure entities, said James Arden Barnett Jr., former chief of the FCCs Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and senior vice president for the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies National Security Policy.
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