Obama to issue cybersecurity executive order this month
Order will create voluntary security standards to protect critical infrastructure from cybercriminals, Sen. Carper says
Computerworld - President Barack Obama is expected to issue a cybersecurity executive order in the days after his Feb. 12 State of the Union address.
The long-expected executive order will create a voluntary program that will call for companies in critical infrastructure industries to agree to adopt a minimum set of security standards created by the government, according to a published report. [Ed note: This statement was previously attributed -- incorrectly -- to a spokeswoman for Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). We regret the error.]
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) expects that the order will be issued before the end of February, based on signals he has received from the White House, said Emily Spain, a spokeswoman for Carper.
The imminent issuing of the order was first reported by The Hill, a Washington-based newspaper that focuses on covering Congress.
Once the order is released, Carper said he will solicit feedback about it when his committee holds a joint hearing on cybersecurity with the Senate Intelligence Committee. Carper and other committee members will also invite officials from the Obama administration to explain the executive order.
The Obama executive order has been in the works since at least last August.
Administration officials have said it will be designed to help government agencies and critical infrastructure companies implement improved controls to protect computer networks against potential cyberattacks.
Obama's Homeland Security adviser, John Brennan (who was nominated by Obama to head the CIA), said last year that the administration was planning an executive order because Congress has long failed to pass comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.
The White House had backed the Cybersecurity Act, a failed proposal to bolster critical infrastructure security by enabling improved sharing of threat information between government agencies and private companies.
The bill, which stalled in Senate over Republican concerns that it was too prescriptive and vested too much enforcement authority with the Department of Homeland Security, called for the creation of an inter-agency council to work with critical infrastructure owners to develop voluntary cybersecurity standards.
The bill also called for some government agencies to submit to an annual security certification process, and offered liability protection for private companies that are voluntarily certified each year.
An alternative Republican-backed bill, called SECURE-IT, failed to get much support among Democrats and failed as well.
The fate of the two bills was identical to numerous other cybersecurity bills proposed by various lawmakers from both parties in both the House and the Senate over the past few years.
Obama's plan to issue a cybersecurity order elicited predictable responses from both parties.
Democratic lawmakers urged the president to use his full authority to protect critical networks against cyberthreats in the face of Congress's failure to pass legislation. Republicans, meanwhile, have indicated that they prefer legislation passed by Congress to a presidential executive order.
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan, or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.
- Cyberattacks could paralyze U.S., former defense chief warns
- The NSA blame game: Singling out RSA diverts attention from others
- Jury still out on FISA court
- Suspected China-based hackers 'Comment Crew' rises again
- Chinese hackers master the art of lying in wait
- Spy court OK'd all U.S. wiretap requests it received in 2012
- Groups denounce FBI plan to require Internet backdoors for wiretaps
- South Korea cyberattacks hold lessons for U.S.
- U.S. military networks not prepared for cyberthreats, report warns
- Return of CISPA: Cybersecurity boon or privacy threat?
Read more about Cyberwarfare in Computerworld's Cyberwarfare Topic Center.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control.
Enhance Your Virtualization Infrastructure With IBM and Vmware
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Virtualization technology is now expanding beyond the server compute elements to encompass networking and storage...
All Cyberwarfare White Papers |