Obama starts review of cybersecurity programs

President Barack Obama has directed his security advisers to conduct an immediate review of the government’s cybersecurity plan, programs and activities.

Administration officials said on Feb. 9 that the interagency review would develop a “strategic framework” to ensure that the government’s cybersecurity efforts are integrated and coordinated with Congress and the private sector.

The review will take 60 days and will be done by the president’s homeland security and national security advisers. It will be led by Melissa Hathaway, who has served as senior adviser and cyber coordination executive to the Director of National Intelligence and has played a leading role in coordinating the government’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.

Hathaway will hold the post of acting senior director for cyberspace for the National Security and Homeland Security Councils during the review, officials said.

“The national security and economic health of the United States depend on the security, stability and integrity of our nation’s cyberspace, both in the public and private sectors," said John Brennan, assistant to the president for counterterrorism and homeland security, in a statement.

A report released in December by a panel of cybersecurity experts and lawmakers recommended Obama create a new cybersecurity directorate in the National Security Council (NSC) to develop and manage a comprehensive national security strategy for cyberspace. The panel, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency, also suggested using the United States’ approach to nuclear nonproliferation as a model for cybersecurity efforts.

James Jones, Obama’s national security adviser, told European leaders at a security conference in Munich on Feb. 8 that the NSC is evaluating how to update its “capacity to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction while also placing a far higher priority on cybersecurity,” according to a transcript of his speech.

The Obama administration’s homeland security platform, released in January, calls for a national cyber adviser that would coordinate federal cybersecurity efforts and report directly to the president.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group