In a speech today, U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to treat the country's digital infrastructure as a strategic asset and announced the creation of the position of cyber-security coordinator. The White House also released the 60-day cyber-security review completed last month. The report outlines several areas of focus for the administration, from building a clear framework for responding to security incidents to promoting innovation in the security industry.
U.S. President Barack Obama pledged a new era for the country's
cyber-security efforts today as White House officials pulled the covers
off the 60-day review of the government's cyber-security posture.
The document, available here,
calls for anchoring leadership for cyber-security efforts at
the White House. To that end, Obama also announced the creation of
the cyber-security coordinator, though he did not name who will step into those shoes.
"From now on our digital infrastructure, the networks and computers we
depend on everyday, will be treated as they should be - as a strategic
national asset," Obama said at a press conference. "Protecting this
infrastructure will be a national security priority. We will ensure
that these networks are secure, trustworthy and resilient."
The review goes on
to talk about building a framework for incident response, encouraging
innovation in the security industry, promoting security awareness and
building up the federal information technology work force.
Stating that federal responses to cyber incidents have not been
unified, the review recommends the federal government develop "a clear
and authoritative cyber-incident response framework" documented in a
revised Cyber Incident Annex for the National Response Framework. The
federal government should also collaborate with state, local and
tribal governments and industry to develop a set of threat scenarios
and metrics that can be used for risk management decisions, recovery
planning and prioritization of research and development, according to
One of the technologies mentioned specifically in the review is
identity management, which the report contends should play an important
role in protecting critical infrastructure.
"The federal government-in collaboration with industry and
the civil liberties and privacy communities-should build a
cyber-security-based identity management vision and strategy for the
nation that considers an array of approaches, including
privacy-enhancing technologies," the report states.
balance between ensuring security and protecting civil liberties
will be an area of focus for the government as it goes forward
with its plans, Obama said in his remarks.
"The vast majority of our critical information infrastructure in the
owned and operated by the private sector, so let me be very clear - my
administration will not dictate security standards for private
companies," Obama said. "On the contrary we will collaborate with
industry to find technology solutions that ensure our security and
"Our pursuit of
cyber-security will not include, I will repeat, will not include,
monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic," he continued.
"We will preserve and protect the personal privacy and civil liberties
that we cherish as Americans."