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White House Issues Cybersecurity Report

The report notes progress on developing national and international cybersecurity strategies and national cyber incident response plan.



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The White House on Wednesday issued an update of the Obama administration's ongoing cybersecurity work, detailing some of the steps being taken in an effort to secure the nation's networks against cyber attacks and in the process offering some new insight into the administration's future plans.

The progress report, issued immediately after a meeting held by White House cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt with agency secretaries, cybersecurity experts, and industry, notes that the cybersecurity directorate of the White House national security staff is currently in the midst of developing an updated national cybersecurity strategy based on the 12-piece Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.

The United States is also working to build a framework for international cybersecurity policy as part of the U.N. Group of Governmental Experts on cybersecurity. This work, the progress report says, has included bilateral discussions and other dialogue with partners.

In September, the progress report says, the Department of Homeland Security will finalize the National Cyber Incident Response Plan and carry out its first tests of the plan as part of Cyber Storm III, a cybersecurity simulation exercise.

In addition, the administration is also working to apply a formal three-pronged cybersecurity research and development strategy to develop budget initiatives that will be disclosed sometime this fall.

Among the accomplishments to which the White House points include releasing new guidance for government agency compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act, designating a privacy and civil liberties official to the White House cybersecurtity staff, developing a cybersecurity awareness and education campaign, creating a military Cyber Command, and developing a draft identity management strategy.

The progress report also notes some specific progress being made on the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative. For example, two DHS-led cybersecurity efforts, Trusted Internet Connections and Einstein, are now being used at 12 major agencies and new cybersecurity operations centers are online. As part of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, the progress report notes, the national counterintelligence executive is working to implement a new cyber counterintelligence plan.

Finally, the report also points to public-private collaboration on cybersecurity, noting that, for example, the Department of Homeland Security annually conducts 50 cybersecurity assessments of critical infrastructure, and has begun conducting cybersecurity assessments for certain major events, such as this year's Super Bowl.

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