Obama plan says cyber infrastructure is 'strategic'

In a new position paper, the Obama administration says it will consider cyber infrastructure a strategic asset.

The Obama administration has published a high-level plan to protect U.S. computer networks, saying it considers cyber infrastructure "a strategic asset" and will appoint a cyber adviser who will report directly to the president.

The six-point outline was published Wednesday as part of a paper detailing the new administration's position on homeland security. Also planned is a "safe computing R&D effort" to build the next generation of security features into computers, and plans to fight cyber-espionage and cybercrime by cracking down on "untraceable Internet payment schemes."

The administration also wants to develop standards for securing data and making companies disclose data breaches, something that is governed by a patchwork of state laws at present.

The plan largely reflects a cybersecurity strategy that U.S. President Barack Obama first outlined in a July 16 campaign speech.

"We know that cyber-espionage and common crime is already on the rise. And yet while countries like China have been quick to recognize this change, for the last eight years we have been dragging our feet," Obama said, according to a transcript of the speech. "As President, I'll make cyber security the top priority that it should be in the 21st century."

The administration's plans are generally in line with recommendations put forward last month by a panel of security experts, according to one of the report's advisers, Howard Schmidt, president of the Information Security Forum. That report, written by the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, called for sweeping changes to the way the federal government approaches cybersecurity, including the creation of a new cybersecurity office in the White House.

Talking about computer security as a critical national asset rather than just the technology behind e-commerce shows that the Obama administration has a new approach, said Schmidt, one of the authors of the George W. Bush administration's "Strategy to Secure Cyberspace." "I think that's one thing that's really, really key," he said. "By declaring this a national asset, that's going to put everybody on notice that they've got to start doing their part to strengthen it."

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cyber infrastructureBarack Obama

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Robert McMillan

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place