Obama Administration Releases Cyber Review: Cyber Attacks: "Weapons of Mass Disruption"

May 29, 2009


As Co-Chairs of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, we bring your attention to the Cyberspace Policy Review, released by President Obama and his 60-day cyberspace policy review team, led by Melissa Hathaway.  A copy of the report is available here.

The release of this report serves as a clear indication to both the public and private sector on how serious the issue of cybersecurity has become for our nation.  Securing our nation’s networks is critical to protecting our national security infrastructure, in addition to protecting our every day way of life, from ATM withdrawals, to our electric grid, to our own congressional websites. 

In his remarks, President Obama clearly stated that cyber terrorism is one of the most seriously economic and national security challenges we will face in the 21st century.  The report called for a new comprehensive approach to securing our cyber infrastructure with the following recommendations:

  • Create a new Cybersecurity Coordinator on the National Security Council that will have direct access to the President and will oversee all federal cybersecurity policies; work to ensure that agency organization reflects those priorities; and coordinate our nation’s response to cyber attacks
  • Strengthen public-private partnerships to protect both secure government networks and private networks we rely on, such as banks
  • Invest in research and development
  • Begin a national campaign to promote cybersecurity awareness and digital literacy to build a workforce for the 21st century
  • Reach out to allied nations to formulate a global strategy to make the internet more secure

This White House report is a good starting point for the work that lies ahead and, while the report does not directly address many of the recommendations outlined in the CSIS report on Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency, we look forward to working with the new Cyber Coordinator to fine tune its more general recommendations.  Please feel free to contact Davis Hake with Congressman Langevin at x52735 or Alex Manning with Congressman McCaul at x52401 with any further questions.