U.S.

Trump signs executive order on cybersecurity

Trump signs executive order on cybersecurity

"The Trump administration understands preparing a new executive order and strengthening the cybersecurity of federal networks and critical infrastructure, emphasizes accountability, managing government IT architectures", Clapper told the Senate panel. The Order marks the administration's first successful effort to address cybersecurity, after an earlier draft executive order on cybersecurity was postponed in January.

The order seeks to improve the network securities of USA government agencies and protect critical infrastructure, like the energy grid and financial sector, from attacks that lawmakers and officials have warned could pose a major national security threat. "We've seen increasing attacks from allies, adversaries, primarily nation-states, but also non-nation-state actors, and sitting by and doing nothing is no longer an option", he said.

"The United States invented the internet and it's time to maintain our values on it", White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said. Bossert said Russia's alleged hacks were not a motivation for the order, adding that "the Russians are not our only adversary on the internet".

Bossert said foreign hackers increasingly besieged the USA government, private businesses and individual internet users, and that a greater role for the federal government in ensuring security was necessary.

"A lot of progress was made in the last administration, but not almost enough", he told reporters. In response, Trump's executive order demands that all agency heads "show preference" for shared IT services when procuring new IT services. "Of course, this order is more of a plan for a plan, because an EO can only direct federal agencies to do things they can already do within the law, but the reports it calls for are good ones to have, for the most part".

Calling the executive order "mostly a plan for the government to make a plan", the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a non-partisan research and educational group, criticized the lack of progress made by the government in pursuing security.

Some of the action items are ambitious: Agency heads have 90 days to provide the secretary of Homeland Security and the director of the Office of Management and Budget with risk management reports.

The order instructs agency and department heads to use cybersecurity best practices from the private sector to further secure their departmental systems, ahead of a wider effort to modernize cybersecurity across government.

Officers within the administration will meet with other governments to ensure best practices for the USA and its allies.

The White House has indicated that it plans to develop a way to monitor agencies' cybersecurity efforts. The Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, with State, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and with others as appropriate, shall jointly assess the potential scope and duration of a prolonged power outage associated with a significant cyber incident.

"I don't think that's a wise risk", Bossert said.

In announcing the executive order at the White House, he said Mr. Trump was holding to "his promise that he made to the American people to keep America safe, including in cyberspace".

Section 2 addresses federal support for the owners and operators of critical infrastructure.

"By focusing on executive-level accountability, securing the third-party ecosystem and developing a market-based approach to securing critical infrastructure, the executive order brings some of the best initiatives from the private sector and applies them to the government", said Olcott.


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