5 Things to Know About POTUS’ Newly Announced National Cybersecurity Action Plan
This morning, President Obama addressed Wall Street Journal readers with an announcement for his new national cybersecurity plan to set the foundation for safer digital infrastructure for America.
The new Cybersecurity National Action Plan is set to dedicate over $19 billion in funding to national cybersecurity, designate a new Chief Information Security Officer role, and invest in recruiting the best and brightest from Silicon Valley—with student loan forgiveness, scholarship, and an opportunity to wear jeans to work.
Just what should business owners know? Here’s our scoop on the CNAP:
- President Obama is inundated with national security threats that only a few of his predecessors ever imagined tackling. The Cybersecurity National Action Plan is focused on both short-term and long-term risks. In his first step, the President calls for an “overhaul of federal computer systems.” Agencies will be required to ramp up protections for their most valuable information and facilitate easier updates for their networks. Taking a cue from major companies, the Federal Chief Information Security Officer position will be adopted to promote the modernization of government IT through the $3.1 billion Information Technology Modernization Fund.
“It is no secret that too often government IT is like an Atari game in an Xbox world. The Social Security Administration uses systems and code from the 1960s. No successful business could operate this way.”
- The government will build better best practices through a corps of cyber professionals.
“We’ll do more—including offering scholarships and forgiving student loans—to recruit the best talent from Silicon Valley and across the private sector. We’ll even let them wear jeans to the office. I want this generation of innovators to know that if they really want to have an impact, they can help change how their government interacts with and serves the American people in the 21st century.”
- Cultivating government partnerships with the private sector are essential to “deter, detect and disrupt threats” with emphasis on protection of the county’s critical infrastructure.
“Yesterday, we inaugurated a new cybersecurity Center of Excellence, which will bring together industry and government experts to research and develop new cutting-edge cyber technologies. We’re also establishing a national testing lab, where companies can test their systems’ security under simulated attacks. And because every enterprise is potentially vulnerable, the Small Business Administration is offering cybersecurity training to over 1.4 million small businesses and their workers.”
- Stronger national cybersecurity means encouraging Americans to protect themselves online. A new national awareness campaign is slated to help spread awareness of cyberthreats—which means a whole lot more than simply generating new passwords. Additional “layers” of security like multi-step verification, fingerprints, and voice prints.
“At the same time, leading technology firms like Google, Facebook, Dropbox and Microsoft are making it easier for millions of users to secure their online accounts, while credit-card and payment companies such as Visa, MasterCard and PayPal are making transactions more secure.”
- And the government certainly doesn’t have all the answers to national cybersecurity challenges. A bipartisan Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity can address long-term solutions with congressional leaders and top business, strategic, and technology minds from the private sector working side-by-side.
“The National Institute of Standards and Technology will provide the Commission with support to allow it to carry out its mission. The Commission will report to the President with its specific findings and recommendations before the end of 2016, providing the country a roadmap for future actions that will build on the CNAP and protect our long-term security online.”
President Obama concluded his op-ed by stating, “The first Web page came online in 1990. We’re only in the third decade of the Internet Age, and I believe we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible—if we protect the innovation and privacy that we cherish as Americans.”
“We won’t resolve all these challenges over the coming year, but we’re laying a strong foundation for the future. By taking these steps together, I’m confident we can unleash the full potential of American innovation, and ensure our prosperity and security online for the generations to come.”