Trump signs cyber security executive order

Donald Trump has not said a lot on the subject since he fired FBI Director James Comey

Donald Trump has signed an executive order to modernize and improve the nation's computer networks and protect critical infrastructure from cyberattack.

Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert discussed the executive order in a press briefing at the White House Thursday, characterizing it as part of the president's promise to keep America safe.

"We built our platform to meet the most comprehensive and stringent standards set by the USA government so that public and regulated companies had the highest form of protection and support in maintaining a defensible cyber risk governance system", said Shultz.

Trump's order follows months of hacking accusations: the USA intelligence community accused Russian Federation of orchestrating a campaign of cyberattacks; and Democratic political organizations and high profile officials in Hillary Clinton's campaign suffered embarrassing revelations on WikiLeaks.

With respect to critical infrastructure, the order directs DHS, FBI, the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General to identify infrastructure at greatest risk and report to the president within six months findings and recommendations. "The most likely outcome, I wager, is that the executive branch gets a glimpse at just how ancient some of this gear is and they'll have to re-issue this executive order", he said.

The order calls on all federal agencies to implement cybersecurity policies set up by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

"Internet of Things security is a critical but very complicated issue, and it is laudable that the new administration wants to pursue solutions", he said. The president has directed the president's cabinet to begin the hard work of protecting our nation's most critical infrastructures - utilities, financial and healthcare systems, telecommunications networks. "The Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, other nation-states are motivated to use cyber capacity and cyber tools to attack our people and our governments and their data".

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Trump's homeland security adviser Tom Bossert says the order will help keep the US safer from cybersecurity risks.

President Trump at the White House on May 10.

"From this point forward, departments and agencies shall practice what we preach", Bossert said. In response, Trump's executive order demands that all agency heads "show preference" for shared IT services when procuring new IT services.

Back in January, Trump vowed to come up with a "major report on hacking defense" within 90 days, but some observers said the executive order didn't meet the target.

But Brian Finch, a cybersecurity attorney at the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in Washington, speculated that releasing a final version of an executive order involving so many federal agencies would have been premature in the midst of the Trump administration's transition into the White House.

The first section of the May 11 order stresses the importance of protecting data held within Federal networks, and says that agency heads will be held accountable by the president for implementing risk management measures.

"Trump's order mandates that the security of federal agencies has to be controlled on an entire enterprise level-instead of building security protocols for specific systems, all people, processes, and policies within the agency must be analyzed and reported on", Mike Shultz, CEO at Cybernance, a cyber governance platform, said in a media advisory. In 2017, Cybernance received the SAFETY Act designation from the Department of Homeland Security, which provides customers the highest form of risk and liability protection from third-party action in the event of a cyber-criminal data breach.