Official: Cybersecurity review advances

The director of the Obama administration’s 60-day review of cyberspace policy said today “the national dialogue on cybersecurity must advance now.”

Melissa Hathaway, acting senior director for cyberspace for the National Security and Homeland Security councils, made that comment in prepared remarks for the RSA Conference in San Francisco. Hathaway’s team completed the review April 17 and has also completed a report that “summarizes our conclusions and outlines the beginning of a way forward in building a reliable, resilient, trustworthy digital infrastructure for the future,” she said.

“It can be said that the federal government is not organized appropriately to address this growing problem [of securing computer networks] because responsibilities for cyberspace are distributed across a wide array of federal departments and agencies, many with overlapping authorities and none with sufficient decision authority to direct actions that can address the problem completely,” she said. “We need an agreed way forward based on common understanding and acceptance of the problem.”

Hathaway said the report includes recommendations to President Barack Obama on a White House organizational structure to deal with cybersecurity and an action plan for future efforts. However, she said specifics would have to wait until Obama and administration officials have reviewed the report.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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