A long-awaited cybersecurity executive order was finally signed by President Trump on Thursday. This order has launched sweeping reviews of the digital vulnerabilities within the federal government. It will also direct all of the agencies to adopt several of the very specific security practices.
This was Trump’s first big decision when it comes to dealing with cyber issues. It finally shows the step in the right way when it comes to securing the federal networks and dealing with pranksters, thieves, and rival country’s hackers. Tom Bossert, the White House Homeland Security Adviser, has said that “The trend is going in the wrong direction in cyberspace, and it’s time to stop that trend and reverse it on behalf of the American people.”
Specialists claim that this new order isn’t dedicated to bringing new ways of protection, but instead focuses on improving the old ones. The final result is the strong policy that’s created by combining the paths of the previous two administrations. It’s said that Obama’s administration made a lot of progress, but it was still not enough.
The executive order creates a lot of new reviews, as well as assessments of every agency’s cyber risks. This also includes the reviews of efforts made to protect infrastructures like hospitals and power plants, and also reports on creating a cyber workforce. It’s also suggested that the government needs to start using joint IT services, like cloud computing.
When it comes to IT modernization, it’s expected that Trump’s Senior adviser Jared Kushner’s Office of American Innovation will have a big role to play. By signing the executive order, Trump created the American Technology Council, with Kushner as its director. It’s also expected that the process of modernizing federal IT systems will be very difficult and challenging, and this signing is one of the most concrete steps that the President has taken to follow on the many promises that he has made during the election campaign.
This was necessary, despite the fact that for years this technical issue didn’t manage to get the attention it needed. However, the act of hackers targeting some of the more influential companies has done the trick, and the problem is finally being dealt with. There’s also the matter of taking action against the hackers suspected to influence the elections, and there’s been a lot of pressure on Trump concerning this issue. FBI’s currently investigating the problem.
Trump has also promised to form a team that will analyze the Russia’s supposed digital assault, but so far, he did nothing and even suggested that other parties may be responsible. He was also criticized for firing the FBI Director James Comey. Apparently, the reason might be the FBI’s investigation on whether the Trump campaign worked with the Kremlin on the last year’s hacking.
The executive order has nothing to do with this issue but instead, focuses on Trump’s promise to upgrade the digital defenses. in both, government and private sector. The directive was in the works for several months and had several rewrites, during which Trump filled some of the key jobs, including the position of cybersecurity coordinator, as well as the head of the National Security Council’s cyber directorate, and also the National Security adviser.
The order itself has wide-ranging reviews, but the latest draft also has a set of specific directions concerning cybersecurity that was meant for government agencies. According to this draft, the chief of each department needs to adopt several digital defense standards that were laid out in the cyber framework, that’s developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s experts. The leaders of the agencies must explain operational, strategic and budgetary considerations that are influencing their security choices. This should help with creating more accountability when it comes to cybersecurity failures within the departments.
There’s also the matter of the report on the threat from botnets that needs to be created. It’s said that the botnet provision will require cooperation from the private sectors.
The similar section requires better cooperation with international partners for the purpose of deterring cyber attacks, and Obama’s administration was majorly criticized for failing to create such a “deterrence posture”.
Some see the order as an opening salvo in an attempt to lock down the government networks. Others consider it to be an important step, one that might force federal agencies to rethink the current security strategies. Major concern is still that the administration lacks appointees in some of the key cyber posts, and that the task of raising the cyber security will be extremely challenging