Who: Cyber Security National Action Plan to protect US from risks from new technologies
What: Unveiled by US President Barack Obama
When: 9 February 2016
Why: For an overhaul of aging government networks and boost security awareness
The President of United States (US) Barack Obama on 9 February 2016 unveiled a Cyber Security National Action Plan. The action plan called for an overhaul of aging government networks and a high-level commission to boost security awareness.
The action plan was unveiled on eve of Safer Internet Day designated by governments and technology firms to boost awareness on cybersecurity issues.
Main highlights of Action Plan
• The plan seeks to address both short-term and long-term threats, with the goal of providing every American a basic level of online security.
• Obama issued an executive order creating a 12-memberCybersecurity Commission to make recommendations to both the public and private sectors. The panel will submit the report to the president by 1 December 2016.
• The plan also called for a new federal chief information security officer to direct cybersecurity across the federal government.
• Step up efforts with the help of private sector to help consumers improve online security, in part by adding new protection to services requiring passwords.
• Launching National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign calling for “moving beyond just passwords and adding an extra layer of security,” such as biometric identification or multi-factor authentication using a secure code.
• The campaign will rope in major technology firms such as Google, Facebook, Dropbox, and Microsoft as well as financial service providers such as MasterCard, Visa and PayPal.
• The government will also step up security for its own transactions with citizens with effective identity proofing and strong multi-factor authentication methods
Budget for Cyber Security Action Plan
Obama asked for 19 billion US dollar for cyber security efforts in his budget request, a 35 percent increase from current levels, with 3 billion US dollar earmarked to help modernise the patchwork of computer systems used in government agencies.
The action plan was unveiled following the disclosures made in 2015 that personal data from some 20 million federal employees, contractors and others were leaked in a massive breach at the Office of Personnel Management.
Though there is system in place since 1960s in the form of Social Security Administration but these systems and codes are outdated and no successful business could operate this way.
Moreover, the US Intelligence Chief James Clapper in his testimony highlighted the heightened risk from new technologies and named Russia, China, Iran and North Korea as leading threat actors which pose risks for US security.