The White House announced today that President Obama has ordered a 60 day review of the nation’s cyber security procedures. The review will measure the level of funding, integration, and coordination with Congress and the private sector.
“The national security and economic health of the United States depend on the security, stability, and integrity of our Nation’s cyberspace, both in the public and private sectors. The President is confident that we can protect our nation’s critical cyber infrastructure while at the same time adhering to the rule of law and safeguarding privacy rights and civil liberties,” said Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan.
There was a great deal of concern during the later days of the Bush administration that the Department of Homeland Security had not done anything in the area of cyber security, so this review not only represents a change from the attitude of the previous administration, but is also the first step towards Obama keeping a campaign promise that he made last summer.
In July Obama said, “As President, I’ll make cyber security the top priority that it should be in the 21st century. I’ll declare our cyber-infrastructure a strategic asset, and appoint a National Cyber Advisor who will report directly to me. We’ll coordinate efforts across the federal government, implement a truly national cyber-security policy, and tighten standards to secure information — from the networks that power the federal government, to the networks that you use in your personal lives.”
Interestingly, Obama has named a former Bush aide, Melissa Hathaway, to be the cyber security advisor. Hathaway comes over from working under the Director of National Intelligence, and she should be arriving into a White House that takes the issue of cyber security much more seriously that the Bush administration did. I am not a cyber security expert, but such an important issue never should have been ignored and buried beneath bureaucratic infighting.