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Draft of Trump’s cybersecurity plan emerges. Here’s what experts think

By  Bill Brenner, Sophos

February 1, 2017

President Donald Trump hadn’t yet signed it at the time of this writing, but details have emerged regarding his planned executive order on cybersecurity.

Speculation has increased in recent days as to what Trump will do, and he has certainly gotten plenty of advice from security practitioners. Now we have some more insight into his plans, in the form of this executive order draft, which was obtained by The Washington Post.

The executive order includes provisions to:

  • Have the US military review what schools are teaching students about cybersecurity
  • Consolidate responsibility for protecting the government by giving ultimate control to the White House Budget and Management office. (Note: every government agency is currently in charge of defending itself. This has proved problematic in recent years, because each agency now has different procedures for individual networks instead of a more uniform program.)
  • Place blame for any network security incident squarely on the shoulders of the affected agency’s head.

“I will hold my cabinet secretaries and agency heads accountable, totally accountable for the cybersecurity of their organization,” Trump told reporters yesterday.

A review of all government networks

The draft order calls for a total review of the most critical vulnerabilities in US military, intelligence and civilian government computer networks. This would include examining networks of internet service providers, private-sector companies used by the government and data centers. The White House wants “initial recommendations” within 60 days of the order’s signing.

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