President Signs Executive Order on Cybersecurity, Critical Infrastructure
Friday, May 12, 2017 | Comments

President Donald Trump signed a cybersecurity executive order that “reaffirms the important role the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plays in strengthening the security and resilience of federal networks and the nation’s critical infrastructure.”

The executive order, titled “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure,” directs the department to assess and report on a number of key actions to secure federal networks. While each department or agency is responsible for the cybersecurity of its networks, DHS leads these efforts and ensures a baseline level of security across the civilian executive branch.

“Our nation’s economic and national security rely on a safe, secure and reliable cyber space,” said Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly. “DHS has long been a leader in protecting our nation against cyber threats and this executive order reaffirms our central role in ongoing cybersecurity efforts. We have developed strong operational relationships with our government partners to protect federal civilian networks and have established trusted partnerships with the private sector to improve the cybersecurity of the nation’s critical infrastructure.”

The executive order outlines the following:
• Directs agency heads to immediately use the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework for risk management and to provide within 90 days a risk management report to DHS and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the implementation of the framework and risk management strategies employed by the department or agency.
• Directs DHS and OMB to assess federal agencies’ cybersecurity risk management strategies to determine the adequacy of cyber protections across federal networks and identify any unmet budgetary or policy needs.
• Directs DHS and OMB to provide a plan to the president, within 60 days of receiving the agency reports, on how to protect the executive branch enterprise.
• Directs DHS and other agencies to provide the president with a report within 90 days on the technical feasibility to transition all agencies to one or more consolidated network architectures and shared IT services.

The order also enhances DHS’ ability to support the cybersecurity efforts of the nation’s critical infrastructure owners and operators, including the following:
• Directs DHS to lead the coordination with other departments and agencies to identify federal resources and capabilities best suited to protect critical infrastructure where a cyber incident could have catastrophic effects.

• Directs DHS and the Department of Commerce to provide a report within 90 days to the president on how best to promote market transparency of cyber risk management practices by critical infrastructure entities.
• Directs DHS and the Department of Commerce to lead efforts to improve the resilience of the nation’s core communications infrastructure, providing a preliminary report within 240 days and a final report within one year.
• Enhances DHS’ partnership with the Department of Energy to assess the resilience of the electric grid and provide an assessment within 90 days of any gaps in the security of the nation’s electric subsector.
• Directs DHS, the Department of Defense and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to provide a report within 90 days to the president assessing the cybersecurity of the defense industrial base.

The order also affirms that it is the policy of the United States to promote an open, interoperable, reliable and secure internet. The order directs the following:
• An interagency team, including DHS, to submit a report within 90 days to the president on the nation’s strategic options for deterring adversaries and better protecting the American people from threats in cyberspace.
• An interagency team, including DHS, to submit a report within 45 days on international cybersecurity priorities, and within 90 days of the submission of the priorities report, develop an international cybersecurity engagement strategy.
• DHS and Department of Commerce to lead coordination with other agencies and submit a report within 120 days the findings and recommendations to support the growth and sustainment of the nation’s cybersecurity workforce.

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