5 Key Themes of Obama's Cybersecurity Plan

President Outlines IT Security Goals In his White House speech on Friday, President Obama identified these five key themes in his cybersecurity plan:

1. Develop partnerships with government and non-government organizations to develop a comprehensive strategy to secure the nation's information and communications networks.

"To ensure a coordinated approach across government, my cybersecurity cooridnator will work closely with my chief technology officer, Aneesh Chopra, and my chief information officer, Vivek Kundra," the president said. "To ensure accountability in federal agencies, cybersecurity will be designated as one of my key management priorities. Clear milestones and performances metrics will measure progress. And as we develop our strategy, we will be open and transparent, which is why you'll find today's report and a wealth of related information on our Web site, www.whitehouse.gov."

2. Work with all the key players - including state and local governments and the private sector - to ensure an organized and unified response to future cyber incidents.

"Given the enormous damage that can be caused by even a single cyber attack, ad hoc responses will not do," Obama said. "Nor is it sufficient to simply strengthen our defenses after incidents or attacks occur. Just as we do for natural disasters, we have to have plans and resources in place beforehand - sharing information, issuing warnings and ensuring a coordinated response."

3. Strengthen public/private partnerships deemed critical to this endeavor.

"The vast majority of our critical information infrastructure in the United States is owned and operated by the private sector," he said. "So let me be very clear: My administration will not dictate security standards for private companies. On the contrary, we will collaborate with industry to find technology solutions that ensure our security and promote prosperity."

4. Invest in the cutting-edge research and development necessary for the innovation and discovery we need to meet the digital challenges of our time.

"That's why my administration is making major investments in our information infrastructure: laying broadband lines to every corner of America; building a smart electric grid to deliver energy more efficiently; pursuing a next generation of air traffic control systems; and moving to electronic health records, with privacy protections, to reduce costs and save lives," Obama said.

5. Begin a national campaign to promote cybersecurity awareness and digital literacy build a digital workforce for the 21st century.

"That's why we're making a new commitment to education in math and science, and historic investments in science and research and development," the president said. "Because it's not enough for our children and students to master today's technologies - social networking and e-mailing and texting and blogging - we need them to pioneer the technologies that will allow us to work effectively through these new media and allow us to prosper in the future. So these are the things we will do."

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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