Cybersecurity

How close is a cyber executive order?

Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano says an executive order on cybersecurity is still under development.

The president still has not seen the executive order on cybersecurity that, If it is issued, will bear his signature, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Oct. 25.

“There’s been work on the EO in light of Congress’ failure to pass legislation this past year, in part because we recognize that given the severity and urgency of the situation. We can’t simply wait if Congress cannot act,” she said. “So there is a draft, it has been circulated but the president has not had the opportunity to review it or make a final decision about it.”

The upcoming election is keeping the president occupied, she said. Napolitano was speaking at an event on diversity in the cybersecurity workforce, produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Napolitano, who previously confirmed acknowledged the ongoing efforts in developing an executive order addressing national cybersecurity, said details of the measure are still being hammered out between a range of parties and interests involved.

“One of the things that’s happening now is outreach into the private sector and with other stakeholders to look at it and get some feedback before any EO would be issued – if ultimately there is that decision to go by executive order,” she said.

Napolitano cautiously expressed hope that Congress could still step in with more comprehensive cybersecurity legislation, which, with the ability to amend existing laws, would be able to go further than any steps offered by an executive order.

“In the meantime the Senate majority leader, Sen. [Harry] Reid, has indicated that he’s very interested in trying again in cyber. We’ll have to wait and see when the Congress comes back on the 13th of November,” she said. “They have a long list of things that need to be dealt with. But again, my hope, and the ideal way, is to go through Congress. But if Congress cannot act, then the executive branch is going to have to.”

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.